- U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) forces have confirmed the identity of the ISIS leader killed in a raid in Syria on Monday morning.
- Abd-al-Hadi Mahmud al-Haji Ali was a senior ISIS leader responsible for planning terror attacks in the Middle East and Europe.
- Two other ISIS operatives were also killed in the raid, which was launched after learning of an ISIS plot to kidnap officials.
U.S. Central Command forces named the ISIS leader killed in a raid Monday morning, CENTCOM confirmed in a tweet Monday afternoon.
Abd-al-Hadi Mahmud al-Haji Ali was a senior ISIS Syria leader and operational planner behind terror attacks in the Middle East and Europe, CENTCOM said in a statement posted to Twitter.
“This was the ISIS leader who was killed in a unilateral helicopter raid in northern Syria today that was announced this morning,” CENTCOM said in a statement shared to Twitter. “Abd-al-Hadi Mahmud al-Haji Ali was the primary target of the raid.”
Two other ISIS operatives were also killed in the raid.
CENTCOM launched the raid after learning of an ISIS plot to kidnap officials and then use them as collateral for ISIS initiatives.
“We know ISIS retains the desire to strike beyond the Middle East,” CENTCOM spokesperson Col. Joe Buccino said in a statement. “We are therefore committed to the enduring defeat of ISIS.”
ISIS, also known as Islamic State, is designated as a terrorist group by the U.S. The group has since lost the power it had in 2013 and 2014, but the organization is still considered dangerous and remains a priority for CENTCOM.
ISIS dominated large portions of Syria and Iraq in 2014 and was responsible for the grisly and barbaric beheadings of Western hostages, including U.S. journalist James Foley. ISIS has lost much of its power in recent years but still remains a threat to the U.S., Europe and other countries.
“While ISIS’ territorial caliphate is defeated, they remain a transnational threat,” CENTCOM said in August 2022, adding that “their desire to regenerate” and operate overseas “threatens the U.S. homeland,” Newsweek reported earlier today.
The U.S. has been working methodically to rid ISIS of its prominent leaders. In February, a helicopter raid in northeastern Syria killed ISIS leader Hamza al-Homsi, but also injured four U.S. servicemembers and a working dog. In April, U.S. forces conducted a successful airstrike that killed Khalid Aydd Ahmad al-Jabouri, another ISIS leader who was responsible for planning terror attacks in Europe.
No U.S. servicemembers or civilians were harmed in the April 17 attack, and no U.S. equipment was damaged.
CENTCOM announced that al-Jabouri’s death would “temporarily disrupt the organization’s ability to plot external attacks.”
Newsweek reached out to CENTCOM for comment by email.