The U.S. military killed a high-level ISIS leader during an operation in Africa this week along with nearly a dozen ISIS operatives.
A senior administration official told CNN that the operation took place in a “mountainous cave complex in northern Somalia” where ISIS was planning its expansion into Africa and beyond.
“Given the remote location of the operation, the assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed,” U.S. Africa Command said in a statement. “Protecting civilians remains a vital part of the command’s operations to promote greater security for all Africans.”
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin confirmed that U.S. forces killed ISIS leader Bilal-al-Sudani.
“On January 25, on orders from the President, the U.S. military conducted an assault operation in northern Somalia that resulted in the death of a number of ISIS members, including Bilal-al-Sudani, an ISIS leader in Somalia and a key facilitator for ISIS’s global network,” Austin said. “Al-Sudani was responsible for fostering the growing presence of ISIS in Africa and for funding the group’s operations worldwide, including in Afghanistan.”
The official who CNN spoke to said that U.S. forces wanted to capture al-Sudani alive, but the response from the terrorists ultimately made that impossible, and al-Sudani, along with 1o other terrorists, were killed.
Only one service member was injured during the operation when he was bitten by an American military canine.
The U.S. military conducted a successful counterterrorism operation in Somalia. https://t.co/F6MCDYLqwP pic.twitter.com/HHIW8VC3nZ
— US AFRICOM (@USAfricaCommand) January 26, 2023