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The leader of the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria was killed on Tuesday by a US drone strike.
Maher al-Agal, who military officials describe as “one of the top five leaders of ISIS and the leader of ISIS in Syria”, was eliminated after being targeted near Jindayris in the north-west of the country.
“This strike reaffirms CENTCOM’s firm commitment to the region and Isis’s lasting defeat,” Colonel Joe Buccino, spokesman for the central command, said in a statement. “The removal of these ISIS leaders will disrupt the ability of the terrorist organization to further plot and carry out global attacks.”
Maher, according to defense officials, was “responsible for aggressively pursuing the development of ISIS networks outside Iraq and Syria.”
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CENTCOM also claims that “a senior ISIS official closely associated with Maher was seriously injured during the strike”.
“Extensive planning has been devoted to this operation to ensure its successful execution,” he added. “An initial review indicates that there have been no civilian casualties.”
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Despite Maher’s elimination, Buccino said “ISIS continues to pose a threat to the United States and partners in the region.
“CENTCOM maintains a sufficient and sustainable presence in the region and will continue to counter threats to regional security,” he added.
Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin contributed to this report.