Senior ISIS leader Bilal-al-Sudani killed in US military operation in Somalia
Washington: A US military operation killed a senior ISIS leader and 10 members of the terror group in northern Somalia on Wednesday, two senior Biden administration officials said on Thursday.
“From a mountainous cave complex in northern Somalia, Bilal al-Sudani is assessed to have supported ISIS’ expansion and activities across Africa and beyond the continent,” the first senior administration official said.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin confirmed that al-Sudani had been killed in a statement later on Thursday.
“On January 25, on orders from the President, the U.S. military conducted an assault operation in northern Somalia that resulted in the death of a number of ISIS members, including Bilal-al-Sudani, an ISIS leader in Somalia and a key facilitator for ISIS’s global network. Al-Sudani was responsible for fostering the growing presence of ISIS in Africa and for funding the group’s operations worldwide, including in Afghanistan,” Austin said.
“No civilians were harmed as a result of this operation. We are grateful to our extraordinary service members as well as our intelligence community and other interagency partners for their support to this successful counterterrorism operation,” Austin added.
US forces, according to the official, were prepared to capture al-Sudani but the “hostile force’s response” ultimately resulted in his death.
No US troops or civilians were killed, although one service member was injured during the operation after being bitten by an American military dog.The second official said that the US notified two counterterrorism partners, including the Somali government.
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