The US Department of Defense announced the killing of the leader of the “ISIS” organization in Syria, Maher Al-Akal, yesterday (Tuesday), in a strike carried out by an American drone.
The US Central Command (Centcom) said in a statement that al-Kakal was killed in a drone strike while on a motorbike, outside the town of Jandris, northwest Syria, and that one of his close associates was seriously injured. “This operation has been extensively planned to ensure its successful implementation,” she added. A preliminary review indicates that there were no civilian casualties. The US statement clarified that Al-Akal was responsible for developing ISIS networks outside Iraq and Syria.
The US military stated that the dead man was one of the top 5 leaders of the extremist organization. “This strike once again underscores the US Central Command’s unwavering commitment to the region and the enduring defeat of ISIS,” said Colonel Joe Buccino, a spokesman for the US Central Command. “The removal of these (ISIS) leaders will disrupt the terrorist organization’s ability to further plot and carry out global attacks,” he added. He added that “ISIS continues to pose a threat to the United States and its partners in the region,” and that the US Central Command “maintains an adequate and sustainable presence in the region, and will continue to confront threats against regional security.”
There was not much information about al-Aqal, but the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that he is “the Wali of al-Sham” within the “ISIS”.
The strike came 5 months after the killing of ISIS leader Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi at the hands of US special forces in Atma, Idlib Governorate (northwest). US officials said Al-Qurashi blew himself up to prevent US forces from arresting him.