(FiveNation.com)- Last week, the US announced it had killed ISIS leader Maher al-Agal in a drone strike in Syria.
According to CENTCOM, Tuesday’s drone strike in northwestern Syria took out al-Agal who is considered one of the top five ISIS leaders. Another ISIS leader who works closely with al-Agal was seriously injured in the strike.
In a statement, CENTCOM spokesman Col. Joe Buccino said al-Agal was pivotal in the terror group’s expansion in the region and was also responsible for “aggressively pursuing the development of ISIS networks outside of Iraq and Syria.” Buccino also said “the removal of these ISIS leaders will disrupt” the group’s ability to plot and carry out further global attacks.
The drone strike on al-Agal is a significant blow to the terrorist organization which has suffered two other substantial losses already this year.
In February, ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi committed suicide by detonating a suicide vest after being located during a US Special Operations counterterrorism mission in northwest Syria.
In June, US forces captured senior ISIS leader Hani Ahmed al-Kurdi in Syria as part of the US-led Operation Inherent Resolve.
While ISIS suffered significant defeats since the peak of its power, the terror group remains a serious threat in the Iraq/Syria region.
According to CENTCOM spokesman Col. Joe Buccino, ISIS continues to be a threat to the United States and its partners in Syria and Iraq which is why CENTCOM maintains “a sufficient and sustainable presence in the region.”
The US maintains approximately 900 troops in Syria, mostly in the eastern part of the country.
At its peak from 2014 to 2017, ISIS ruled over millions of people within its so-called Caliphate and had claimed responsibility for or inspired dozens of attacks in cities around the world.
According to the US-led coalition, after the group’s Caliphate was smashed, by mid-2019, ISIS retained between 14,000 and 18,000 members in the region.