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02/05/2022 Syria (International Christian Concern) – This week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that U.S. forces conducted a military operation in northwest Syria that resulted in the death of Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, the leader of the Islamic State (ISIS). The operation comes just one week after U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) finally retook control of al-Sinaa prison following a coordinated attack by ISIS militants.

In a press statement from the State Department, Secretary Blinken provided several details regarding the raid itself. “Throughout that process, the United States took extraordinary care to protect innocent lives and prevent noncombatant casualties,” said Blinken. “ISIS, however, once again revealed its disregard for human life, including that of women and children, when al-Qurayshi chose to detonate a suicide bomb, killing his own family.”

Quraishi took over leadership of ISIS following the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, often regarded as the group’s founder, in a similar raid by U.S. forces back in October 2019. Quraishi was from a village in northern Iraq, located in the heart of the devastating genocide conducted by ISIS against Christians and Yazidis.

Though this is a major step in the ongoing fight against ISIS, the U.S. must remain engaged with the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, a U.S.-led military collective combatting the remnants of ISIS in the Middle East. Coalition air support and special forces were vital in the effort last week during the al-Sinaa attack, the largest coordinated ISIS attack since the military defeat of the group in 2017.

Matias Perttula, Director of Advocacy at International Christian Concern (ICC), commented, “We welcome the continued pursuit from the U.S. government to combat ISIS and prevent the re-emergence of their territorial control in the region. We encourage the Biden administration to remain committed to this effort, especially amidst the recent attack on al-Sinaa, which demonstrated ISIS’ continued threat to the people of Syria and Iraq.

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