US raid on ISIS leader Quraishi critical for peace, stability in Middle East, Japan says

ISIS leader al-Quraishi blew himself up during a raid by US special operations forces on his hideout in northern Syria on Feb 3, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (REUTERS) - A raid by US special forces in north-west Syria that led to the death of the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was an important step for peace and stability in the Middle East, Japan's top government spokesman said on Friday (Feb 4).

US President Joe Biden said on Thursday that Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi died when he blew himself and family members up in a residential building during a US military raid.

The large explosion blew mangled bodies - including his own - out of the building into the streets outside.

The United States has been in touch with all its partners in the counter-ISIS coalition since the raid in the Syrian town of Atmeh on the Turkish border, a senior White House official said on Thursday.

"It's a milestone for Haji Abdullah no longer to be walking the face of the earth," the official told reporters, using the ISIS leader's nickname.

He said the US, the Iraqi government and other coalition partners were resolved to continue fighting ISIS and the threat to their homelands.

US officials said Quraishi's death was another setback for a group that once ruled a self-proclaimed caliphate stretching across territory in Syria and Iraq. It is now waging insurgent attacks.

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