US Special Forces killed Deash/ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi in a counterterrorism mission in northwest Syria on Wednesday evening.
“Last night at my direction, US military forces in the north-west of Syria successfully undertook a counterterrorism operation to protect the American people and our allies, and make the world a safer place,” President Joe Biden said in a statement on Thursday morning.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the mission was conducted by US Central Command, which controls military operations and activities in the Middle East.
The White Helmets, a Syrian civil defense group, said at least 13 people were killed in clashes. The dead included six children and four women.
A Pentagon official earlier claimed that some of the civilian casualties had been caused by a detonation from inside the home.
In addition to the 13 killed, two people were also injured and a building was “partially destroyed” following the raid, according to the White Helmets.
The raid also resulted in the destruction of a US Apache helicopter, which had been used to carry Special Forces troops from Erbil in Iraq.
There were no US casualties, according to the Pentagon.
US forces have taken remains from the scene for forensic examination. The Pentagon will conduct a more thorough after-action review of the raid.
ISIS named al-Qurayshi as its new leader in November 2019 following confirmation that former leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been killed. He largely kept a low profile, making no public appearances or giving speeches of note.
US officials reportedly believe al-Qurayshi directed last month’s assault on a prison holding Daesh/ISIS inmates in the east of Syria.
Al-Qurayshi is the fourth senior ISIS leader to have been tracked down, captured, or killed in Idlib province in the past two years.