Pentagon says ISIS leader killed by US drone strike in Syria

The Pentagon said the leader of the so-called Islamic State (IS) group in Syria was killed in a US military operation.

US Central Command announced that Maher al-Aghal was killed in a drone strike on Tuesday and an unnamed senior IS official was also seriously injured.

The drone strike was carried out near Jindaris, a city in northwestern Syria close to the Turkish border.

The Pentagon said there were no civilian casualties, although this claim has not been verified.

The strike on al-Aghal came just months after IS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi committed suicide during a raid by American special forces on his hideout.

The attack “removes a key terrorist from the battlefield and greatly reduces [IS] plan, resource and conduct its operations in the region,” President Joe Biden said in a statement.

“Like the US operation in February that destroyed [IS’s] common leader, he sends a powerful message to all terrorists who threaten our homeland and our interests around the world,” Biden added.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, al-Aghal was a former prominent IS commander during his control of Raqqa. Most recently, he was the commander of a Turkish-backed group called Jaysh al-Sharqiya.

US-led coalition forces have also targeted al-Qaeda-linked fighters in Syria for years.