The US Army kills the leader of the Islamic State in Syria, which planned attacks on Europe

Ayyd Ahmad al Jabouri

The US Army announced on Tuesday the death of the leader of the Islamic State (IS) in Syria, identified as Khalid Ayyd Ahmad al Jabouri, who according to the United States was planning to carry out attacks in Europe. The military operation, the latest blow to the terrorist group “which continues to represent a great threat to the region”, has been communicated by the United States Central Command (CETCOM). No civilians were killed or injured in the attack.

The CETCOM specified in its statement that the death of the man who was responsible for the hierarchical structure of the jihadist organization and for planning the group’s attacks in Europe occurred on Monday in a “unilateral” US incursion into Syria.

Khalid ‘Aydd Ahmad al-Jabouri was responsible for planning Islamic State attacks in Europe and developed the group’s leadership structure, the statement said.

Islamic State-controlled swathes of Iraq and Syria at the height of its power in 2014 before being defeated in both countries. The group is estimated to have between 5,000 and 7,000 members and supporters spread between Syria and Iraq, about half of them fighters, according to a UN report in February.

According to General Michael Kurill, who is in charge of CENTCOM in the area, the “Islamic State still poses a danger to the region” and beyond. “Although demoted, the group remains capable of conducting operations within the region with a desire to strike beyond the Middle East,” the statement said. Kurill added that al-Jabouri’s death would “temporarily disrupt the group’s ability to plan external attacks.”

The UN report said the threat posed by Islamic State and its affiliates to international peace and security was high in the second half of 2022 and had increased in and around conflict zones where it has a presence.

Late last year, the Islamic State announced that it had appointed a previously unknown figure, Abu al-Hussein al-Husseini al-Quraishi, as its leader after the previous leader was assassinated in southern Syria.