US military operation kills top ISIL leader in Somalia | Armed Groups News
The US said the operation was carried out on January 25 against al-Sudani, “a key intermediary in the ISIS global network.”
The United States military carried out an operation that killed a senior ISIL (ISIS) leader in northern Somalia, US officials said.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement Thursday that the operation killed Bilal al-Sudani, the US-appointed leader of ISIS in Somalia and “a key intermediary in the global ISIS network.”
He added that the operation was approved by President Joe Biden earlier this week and carried out on January 25.
“Al-Sudani was responsible for facilitating the growing presence of ISIS in Africa and for funding the group’s operations around the world, including in Afghanistan,” Austin said.
No other details were given about the operation, including how US troops conducted the operation or even how many US soldiers were involved. US officials anonymously told the Reuters news agency that 10 associates of al-Sudani were also killed in the operation.
In 2012, al-Sudani was sanctioned by the US Treasury Department for his role in helping fund the travel of foreign fighters to the al-Shabaab training camp.
The Somali government’s offensive launched in August 2022 against al-Shabaab following the election of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has also made significant gains.
But the group, which has been fighting since 2007 to overthrow the Somali government and impose its strict interpretation of Islamic law, has responded with a series of attacks across the country.