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  4. ISIS leader Osama al-Muhajer killed in drone strike in Syria, claims US military

ISIS leader Osama al-Muhajer killed in drone strike in Syria, claims US military

According to a statement released by the US Central Command, ISIS leader Osama al-Muhajer was killed in the strike on Friday (July 7).

Edited By: Anurag Roushan @Candid_Tilaiyan Washington Updated on: July 10, 2023 9:02 IST
ISIS leader
Image Source : AP The ISIS leader was allegedly killed in the strike on July 7

The US military claimed that Islamic Leader Osama al-Muhajer was killed in a drone strike in eastern Syria. According to a statement released by the US Central Command, the ISIS leader was killed in the strike on Friday (July 7). 

“We have made it clear that we remain committed to the defeat of ISIS throughout the region,” US Central Command (CENTCOM) chief General Michael Kurilla said as per Al Jazeera. He further added that ISIS remains a threat, not only to the region but to the entire world.

'No civilians were killed in the operation'

The US Central Command also emphasised that no civilians were killed in the operation but coalition forces are “assessing reports of a civilian injury”. It said the drones used in the attack had been targeted by Russian warplanes earlier in the day. "Friday’s strike was conducted by the same MQ-9s drones that had been harassed by Russian aircraft in an encounter that had lasted almost two hours," CENTCOM added. 

Grynkewich has stated that three Russian jets dropped parachute flares in front of US drones on Wednesday, forcing them to evade, and has urged Moscow to "cease this reckless behaviour." US Reaper drones and Russian aeroplanes engaged in two distinct incidents on Wednesday and Thursday, according to video footage released by the US.

ALSO READ: Turkey's President claims ISIS leader killed in Syria; says, 'Islamophobia spreading like cancer cell in West'

US, Russia diplomatic row

A diplomatic row briefly broke out earlier this year, when the US alleged that Russian jets were to blame for the downing of the $30 million Reaper drone, which was packed with sensitive US spying technology and was operating over the Black Sea. Although Moscow denied that its jets were to blame for the drone that crashed into the water in March, US military video showed Russian planes performing manoeuvres to obstruct the drone's flight path, according to Al Jazeera.

Russian military aircraft disturbed US drones participating in operations against ISIS in Syria on Thursday (July 6) for the second time in 24 hours, a US commander claimed at the time. Air Force Lieutenant General Alexus Grynkewich claimed that all the aircraft involved were in danger because the planes were flying too closely together, dropping flares in front of the drones.

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