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Islamic State leader killed in Africa, US says — RT World News

President Joe Biden stepped up the US military presence in Somalia last year, reversing a troop withdrawal ordered by his predecessor

A top commander of the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terror group was killed in a raid by US special forces in Somalia, the Pentagon said, saying the militant played a major role in raising funds for the infamous jihadist cell.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced the operation on Thursday, saying it took place in northern Somalia a day before and “resulted in the death of a number of ISIS operatives”, among them, regional leader Bilal al-Sudani and 10 other fighters.

The commander was “responsible for fostering the growing presence of the Islamic State in Africa and for financing the group’s operations around the world, including in Afghanistan”, Austin said, alleging that al-Sudani was a “key enabler” for the Islamic State “global network.”

The Pentagon chief went on to say that the US mission caused no civilian casualties, while the military Africa Command (AFRICOM) noted that the raid was carried out in a “remote location” and was unlikely to have injured non-combatants. No US soldier was injured, but one soldier was bitten by a military dog ​​following the operation, according to an unnamed senior official quoted by CNN.

The same official added that if US forces were ready to capture al-Sudani, the “hostile” his group’s response forced retaliation and resulted in his death. He was first sanctioned by the US Treasury in 2012 for allegedly helping foreign fighters get to a training camp in Somalia and helping jihadist groups fund themselves.

Although President Donald Trump withdrew most of the 700 US troops stationed in Somalia in 2020, Biden redeployed the troops last year to continue operations against local militants, citing military authorization passed by Congress after the attacks terrorists of 9/11 in 2001. According to Brown the university’s Costs of War project, this authorization was invoked to justify “counter-terror” missions to at least 85 countries, effectively serving as a blank check for US military intervention worldwide.

The last UN war: Why peacekeepers were sent to Somalia 30 years ago and how the operation’s legacy still haunts policy makers

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