Terri Moon Cronk at the DOD News offers the below piece:
The ISIS leader who died during a U.S. Special Operations long-range helicopter raid on a mission to capture him in northwest Syria was "every bit as evil and committed to attacks on the United States and its partners as was his predecessor [Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi]," said Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., commander of U.S. Central Command (Seen on the left in the above photo).
Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, also known as Haji Abdullah, refused to give himself up to U.S. special operators and killed himself in a massive explosion, McKenzie said. There were no U.S. casualties.
"The death of Haji Abdullah is a clear signal that the United States remains focused and committed to finding and eliminating the terrorists who are plotting to do us harm, and we will not rest while their organizations remain committed to terrorism and violence against the international community in the United States of America," the Centcom commander said. "It's also a signal to all of those who wrongfully proclaimed that the United States was no longer interested in or committed to security in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. Nothing could be further from the truth, and this mission confirms that," he added.
Some of the most immediate and credible threats to the U.S. homeland emanate from the Centcom area of responsibility, McKenzie said.
"The Chinese move with great speed, notwithstanding major muscle movements. in the South China Sea, and this sort of insidious activity is what the frontline of strategic competition looks like today, and nowhere is it more active than in the Middle East," McKenzie said.
Note: The above photo was taken by Captain William Urban.