A US military raid in Somalia ordered by President Joe Biden has killed a key regional leader of Daesh terror group, Bilal al Sudani, senior US officials said.
Sudani and 10 other fighters were killed during a gunfight after US troops descended on a mountainous cave complex in northern Somalia hoping to capture him, the officials said on Thursday.
Sudani was previously placed under US sanctions in 2012, when he was affiliated with Somalia’s Al Shabab terrorist group, and the officials said he was supporting Daesh operations in Africa and beyond, particularly via fundraising, when he was targeted.
No US military personnel were killed, but one service member was injured by a US military dog.
Planning for the raid took place over several months and involved multiple US government agencies, the official said.
The Pentagon briefed President Joe Biden on the operation last week, and the commander-in-chief signed off on it earlier this week.
“Through this operation and others, President Biden has made it very clear that we are committed to finding and eliminating terrorist threats to the United States and to the American people wherever they are hiding, no matter how remote,” said one of the officials.
“The United States and our allies and partners are safer today as a result of this operation yesterday, and the president will continue to take all necessary steps to protect the United States and its interests around the world from terrorist threats where they exist,” he added.