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US killed top ISIS leader in Somalia counterterrorism operation


Daily Caller News Foundation

The U.S. successfully completed a counterterrorism operation in Somalia killing a top Islamic State official, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in a statement Thursday.

At President Joe Biden’s order, U.S. forces in Africa conducted an assault operation in northern Somalia on Wednesday, killing several ISIS members, including Bilal al-Sudani, Austin said in a statement sent out to reporters. Al-Sudani was described as an ISIS leader and “key facilitator” for the terrorist organization’s global network, responsible for fueling ISIS’ growing foothold in Africa and funding global terrorist operations, including those in Afghanistan, the statement said.

“This action leaves the United States and its partners safer and more secure, and it reflects our steadfast commitment to protecting Americans from the threat of terrorism at home and abroad,” Austin said.

No civilians died in the operation, Austin said.

“We are grateful to our extraordinary service members as well as our intelligence community and other interagency partners for their support to this successful counterterrorism operation,” Austin said in the statement.

The operation came days after U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) conducted an airstrike in Somalia, killing 30 members of the al-Shabaab terrorist network, according to a statement.

U.S. forces in Somalia operate in support of the Somali National Army, carrying out all combat operations against rampant terrorist groups as a partner of the federal military, the statement said.

“The U.S. is one of several countries providing support to the Federal Government of Somalia in its ongoing campaign to disrupt, degrade and defeat terrorist groups,” according to AFRICOM. “Rooting out extremism ultimately requires intervention beyond traditional military means, leveraging U.S. and partner efforts to support effective governance, promote stabilization and economic development, and resolve ongoing conflicts.”

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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