Iraq provided US with ‘vital intel’ for raid on hideout of ISIS leader
The raid by the US army in the town of Atmeh in Syria's Idlib governorate left at least 13 dead, including six children
By News Desk - February 04 2022

US President Joe Biden greets Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi at the White House. 26 July, 2021. (Photo credit: REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein)

On 4 January, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi announced that the country’s intelligence service provided “accurate” information to the US army for a raid carried out in northern Syria that killed the leader of ISIS as well as several civilians.

“Iraq’s Security Forces have played a pivotal role in killing and capturing Daesh terrorists inside Iraq and gathering intelligence that finally led to the head of this terrorist organization,” the Iraqi head of state said via Twitter.

Al-Khadimi explained that the US operation to take out Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi in northwestern Syria “came as an extension of the tremendous efforts made by the Iraqi security forces of all kinds to kill dozens of leaders … and collect and analyze information that eventually led to the destruction of the rotten head of the organization.”

According to the latest statement made by the Pentagon, Al-Qurayshi allegedly blew himself up to avoid being captured, killing his wife and two children.

However, local sources claim that at least 13 people died during the US operation, including six children and four women.

Residents described the raid as the largest US operation in Syria since the 2019 killing of former ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Barisha, another town in northwestern Syria.

This most recent raid took place in Atmeh, a densely populated town in the rebel-held Idlib province near the Syrian-Turkish border.

In response to the reports of the civilian deaths caused by the raid, the Pentagon claims to have “strong, strong indications” that these were not victims of US fire. However, officials have also said they are “willing” to review the operation.

But unconfirmed reports allege the US troops were aware that the targeted site was a residential area, and that children were in the vicinity prior to the attack.

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