A terrorist leader has just been confirmed dead by the Pentagon following an airstrike in Syria in May.
Rumors abounded of the death of Al-Bin’ali following the airstrike conducted by the U.S.-led coalition in the eastern Syrian city of Al Mayadeen. ISIS even announced the death shortly after, but it wasn’t until Tuesday that the coalition was able to confirm that one of the most dangerous men alive had been killed. (via The Hill)
Turki Al Bin’ali was the chief cleric to ISIS and in line to become second in command after the death of Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, who died in May from similar airstrikes.
Bin’ali was an alleged ally of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the current caliphate (or leader) of ISIS, making him a key member of the terrorist organization.
Bin’ali was described as having a “central role in recruiting foreign terrorist fighters and provoking terrorist attacks around the world” in a statement put out by the coalition confirming the death of Bin’ali. The statement went on to say that Al Bin’ali “As chief cleric to ISIS since 2014, he provided propaganda to incite murder and other atrocities.”
Among his many recruiting efforts, the self-proclaimed “Grand Mufti” was noted for creating several filmed lectures that condoned and incited the slaying of innocent people. He also had written many twisted religious justifications for the kidnapping, enslaving, and raping of women from the Yazidi community.
The airstrike was one of many conducted by the coalition to take out targets related to ISIS after the attacks in Manchester. Al Mayadeen was chosen as a target for its high concentration of ISIS members and their families, and the supposed presence of leaders working within the ISIS organization.
The U.S. military noticed many of the leaders and their families fleeing to Mayadeen during fighting in the Deir a-Zour province and seized on the opportunity to deal a severe blow to ISIS.
Many criticized the Mayadeen airstrikes at the time for the collateral damage and the number of civilian deaths that occurred as a result. Nearly all deaths were either terrorist members themselves or the family members of terrorists.
While the death of civilians is always lamentable and being a family member of a terrorist is hardly a crime, the attack significantly aided the ground fighting in the area and has taken ISIS down a notch.
The death of Turki al-Bin’ali and other leaders within ISIS have thrown the terrorist organization into chaos. They are now scrambling to replace the key leaders they have lost in recent attacks and are fighting desperately to maintain control of their territory in Syria and Iraq. U.S.-backed forces have even made a push into Raqqa, a northern Syrian city that has served as ISIS’ capital.
Despite the controversy over the Mayadeen airstrikes and the deaths it caused, the death of Turki al-Bin’ali, one of the most evil men in the world, is certainly something that has made the planet just a little bit safer. The United States and its allies must remain vigilant in the war on terror.