President Joe Biden on Thursday said that U.S. special operations forces killed ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi in northwest Syria.
According to the Pentagon, the forces conducted a “successful” large-scale counterterrorism raid in northwestern Syria.
“Last night at my direction, U.S. military forces in the northwest Syria successfully undertook a counterterrorism operation to protect the American people and our Allies, and make the world a safer place,” Biden said in a White House statement. “Thanks to the skill and bravery of our Armed Forces, we have taken off the battlefield Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi—the leader of ISIS. All Americans have returned safely from the operation. I will deliver remarks to the American people later this morning. May God protect our troops.”
Residents and activists reported multiple deaths — including civilians — from the attack overnight Thursday. Both CNN and The Associated Press report that 13 people were killed — including six children and four women.
In a brief statement, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said that the mission was successful.
“There were no U.S. casualties. More information will be provided as it becomes available,” Kirby’s statement read.
Several residents told The Associated Press they saw body parts scattered near the house that was raided in the village of Atmeh, in Syria’s rebel-held Idlib province near the border with Turkey.
They spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.
CNN spoke to witnesses and rescue workers who said the operation targeted a house in Atmeh, near the Turkish-Syrian border. The area reportedly contains a heavy presence of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham fighters, who were formerly affiliated with al Qaeda.