A man observes the spot where Maher Al-Agal was killed, near Jandairis in northwestern Syria.
The leader of the Islamic State armed group in Syria was killed in a US drone strike in the northwest of the country on Tuesday, the Pentagon said.
Maher Al-Agal, billed as one of the five most senior IS leaders, was killed while riding his motorbike near the town of Jandairis and his closest adviser was seriously injured. injured, the Pentagon's Central Command said in a statement. aggressive development of ISIS networks outside of Iraq and Syria, [and] the elimination of these ISIS leaders will disrupt the terrorist organization's abilities to planning and carrying out attacks around the world. »
—Joe Buccino, Pentagon Central Command Spokesman
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH), a non-governmental organization with ;an extensive network of sources in Syria confirmed the death of Maher al-Agal in a drone strike. He is presented by the OSDH as the governor for the Levant of the organization.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters backed by Washington, for its part indicated that one person had been killed and another injured in an airstrike targeting a motorcycle in the area of ?? Aleppo.
But according to the SDF, the two men were linked to Ahrar al-Charkiya, a pro-Ankara Syrian armed group. This group had been placed on the US sanctions list in 2021, accused of abuses against the population committed by its fighters during the Turkish offensive in northern Syria two years earlier, and of ;having assassinated Kurdish women's rights activist Hevrin Khalaf.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had denounced a potential war crime committed by the armed group.
According to observers, Ahrar al-Charkiya has integrated former IS leaders into its ranks to fight Kurdish forces in areas controlled by Turkey and its allies in Syria.
After a meteoric rise in power in 2014 in Iraq and neighboring Syria and the conquest of vast territories, the IS saw its self-proclaimed caliphate overthrown under the blow of successive offensives in these two countries, respectively in 2017 and 2019.
Since then, the organization has been repeatedly destabilized by the death or capture of its leaders in Syria.
ISIS top leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a US raid in 2019 and his successor, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurachi, was killed in February in an operation US special forces in the northwest of the country, a region under jihadist control.
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In June, US forces captured a top ISIS official during a helicopter operation in northern Syria. Hani Ahmed Al-Kurdi was a former IS leader in Raqqa, a former stronghold of the jihadist group in Syria, according to the US-led anti-jihadist coalition.
Defeated militarily in its former strongholds, IS continues to pose a threat to the United States and its allies in the region, Colonel Buccino stressed, however.
L& #x27;jihadist organization has also extended its influence in other regions of the world such as in the Sahel region, in Nigeria, in Yemen or in Afghanistan, where it regularly claims attacks.