The US military says it’s killed a leader of the Islamic State jihadist group responsible for terror attacks in Europe.
He was reportedly killed in an American air strike in Syria on Monday, according to US officials.
The suspect, Khalid Aydd Ahmed al-Jabouri, claimed responsibility for a series of deadly attacks in Europe during the time IS controlled large parts of Syria and Iraq, where it run a self-proclaimed “caliphate”.
Al-Jabouri also said he was behind attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015 which left 130 people dead; as well as an attack in Nice on 14 July 2016 which killed 86 people.
Also in 2016, three suicide attacks in Belgium killed around thirty people in total. The following year, attacks claimed by IS in Spain during August left 16 dead.
The US military command said Tuesday’s strike was carried out in northwestern Syria and that no civilians were killed or injured in the raid.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH), an American drone targeted the al-Jabouri in the province of Idlib, in an area controlled by jihadists.
The military statement added that his death “will temporarily disrupt the organization’s ability to plot external attacks.”
The opposition Syrian Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets, said it evacuated one man from the scene of the attack and he later succumbed to his wounds.
The strike was the latest in a series of attacks over the past years targeting al-Qaida-linked militants and senior members of the Islamic State group in northwestern Syria.
Most of those killed by US strikes in the rebel-held Idlib province over the past years were members of al-Qaida offshoot Horas al-Din, which is Arabic for “Guardians of Religion.” The group includes hardcore al-Qaida members who broke away from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the strongest insurgent group in Idlib province.
In February, a drone strike killed two men, whom local activists initially identified as Horas al-Din members. The Observatory later said that one of the two killed was a senior member of the Islamic State group that was defeated in Syria in March 2019.