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US drone strike kills top ISIS leader

MQ-9 reaper drone (U.S. Air Force Photo/Lt. Col. Leslie Pratt)
July 12, 2022

The U.S. military announced it blew up one of the ISIS terrorist group’s top five global leaders – and the leader of the ISIS branch in Syria – in a drone strike in Syria on Tuesday and injured a senior ISIS official.

U.S. Central Command confirmed in a statement to American Military News that a U.S. drone strike targeting two senior ISIS officials in northwest Jindayris, Syria successfully killed Maher al-Agal, “one of the top five ISIS leaders and the leader of ISIS in Syria” and seriously injured “a senior ISIS official closely associated with Maher.”

Al-Agal was an aggressive force in expanding ISIS networks beyond Iraq and Syria.

The operation was described as one with “extensive planning.” No civilians were killed in the strike.

Col. Joe Buccino, a CENTCOM spokesperson said, “This strike reaffirms CENTCOM’s steadfast commitment to the region and the enduring defeat of ISIS. The removal of these ISIS leaders will disrupt the terrorist organization’s ability to further plot and carry out global attacks.”

“ISIS continues to represent a threat to the U.S. and partners in the region,” Buccino added. “CENTCOM maintains a sufficient and sustainable presence in the region and will continue to counter threats against regional security.”

President Joe Biden released a statement praising U.S. forces for the strike. His full statement is below:

Today, the men and women of the U.S. military and of our intelligence community successfully executed an airstrike against one of the top leaders of ISIS, Maher al Agal.
His death in Syria takes a key terrorist off the field and significantly degrades the ability of ISIS to plan, resource, and conduct their operations in the region. And, like the U.S. operation in February that eliminated ISIS’s overall leader, it sends a powerful message to all terrorists who threaten our homeland and our interests around the world.  The United States will be relentless in its efforts to bring you to justice.
This airstrike represents the culmination of determined and meticulous intelligence work and stands as testament to the bravery and skill of our armed forces.  It also demonstrates that the United States does not require thousands of troops in combat missions to identify and eliminate threats to our country. 
On behalf of the American people, whose lives they protect every day, I thank them for their service, their dedication, their professionalism, and for the teamwork that led to this successful outcome. 
The American people — and our allies and partners — are safer today because of their actions.