US says military killed IS leader in Syria
The US Central Command (CENTCOM) announced that the American military has killed an Islamic State (IS) leader in a drone strike in eastern Syria.
Washington: The US Central Command (CENTCOM) announced that the American military has killed an Islamic State (IS) leader in a drone strike in eastern Syria.
In a statement on Sunday, CENTCOM commander Gen. Michael Kurilla said the IS leader, Usama al-Muhajir, was killed in the strike carried out on July 7, CNN reported.
He added that the strike was carried out by MQ-9 Reaper drones that were harassed by Russian aircraft earlier that day.
“We have made it clear that we remain committed to the defeat of IS throughout the region. IS remains a threat, not only to the region but well beyond,” Gen. Kurilla was quoted as saying in the statement.
CENTCOM also confirmed that no civilians were killed in the strike but it was still assessing reports of injury.
US drones participating in the anti-IS operations in Syria were harassed thrice last week by Russian aircraft that are currently in the war-torn nation.
The July 7 incident between the Russian fighter jets and the US drones lasted for nearly two hours, CNN quoted a US Air Forces Central statement as saying.
Lt. Gen. Alex Grynkewich, commander of US Air Forces Central, said that Russian aircraft “flew 18 unprofessional close passes that caused the MQ-9s to react to avoid unsafe situations”.