ISIS Leader Killed By US Airstrike, Military Confirms


Maher al-Agal, a leader of the Isalmic State terrorist group, was assassinated by a U.S. drone that struck in northwest Syria, the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) confirmed Tuesday, ahead of President Biden’s anticipated trip to the Middle East on Wednesday.

Key Facts

The military confirmed the death of al-Agal Tuesday, saying that he was one of the “top five” leaders of ISIS who was responsible for the organization’s development outside of Syria and Iraq.

The Syrian Civil Defense earlier tweeted out a photo it said was taken on a road near the village of Khatlan where a drone hit a motorbike rider; the military did not confirm the details in its statement.

The drone strike injured an associate of al-Agal’s, but is otherwise believed to have not harmed any civilians, CENTCOM said in a statement.

The assassination deals another blow to ISIS, which has struggled to regain the power it once held in the region following the deaths of two top leaders in recent years.

“The removal of these ISIS leaders will disrupt the terrorist organization’s ability to further plot and carry out global attacks,” Col. Joe Buccino, a CENTCOM spokesperson, said in a statement.


Tuesday’s drone strike followed a string of high-profile deaths and captures of ISIS leaders. Last month, an ISIS bomb maker was captured in a raid in northwest Syria. In February, a U.S. raid led to the death of one of the organization’s top leaders, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, when al-Qurayshi detonated a bomb and blew himself and others up as U.S. forces approached. The commander of CENTCOM called al-Qurayshi “every bit as evil and committed to attacks on the United States and its partners as was his predecessor,” referring to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, whom the U.S. killed in 2019. The group has lost significant territory in recent years and is working to rebuild, according to Reuters.


On Wednesday, President Biden will travel to Israel and the West Bank, followed by Jeddah for a gathering of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and finally to Saudi Arabia, where he’ll meet with Saudi King Salman. The visit will be widely watched for Biden’s potential interactions with Saudi crown prince Muohammed bin Salam, whom Biden called a “pariah” for his role in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Biden has already faced criticism for his willingness to travel to Saudi Arabia, which the crown prince effectively runs.


U.S. says airstrike kills ISIS leader in Syria (NBC News)

Nearly 2 Out 3 Democrats Don’t Want Biden As 2024 Presidential Candidate, Poll Finds (Forbes)

88% Of Americans Say U.S. Is On Wrong Track (Forbes)