The leader of Islamic State died when he blew himself and family members up during a U.S. military raid in Syria, President Joe Biden said on Thursday, dealing a blow to the jihadist group’s efforts to reorganize as a guerrilla force after losing large swathes of territory.
Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Quraishi, had led Islamic State since the death in 2019 of its founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was also killed when he detonated explosives during a raid by U.S. commandos.
As U.S. forces closed in on Quraishi in northwestern Syria overnight, he triggered a blast that also killed members of his own family, including children, according to Biden and U.S. officials.
The blast was so big it hurled bodies out of the three-storey building where Quraishi was and into surrounding streets in the town of Atmeh, U.S. officials said, blaming Islamic State for all civilian casualties.
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