Photo Credit: US Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christian Clausen / public domain
Combat remotely piloted aircraft such as the MQ-9 and MQ-1 Predator (seen here) were heavily integrated during combat operations to liberate Raqqah, Syria, from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s control in early October 2017.

United States forces have assassinated Maher al-Agal, one of five top leaders of the Islamic State terrorist organization in Syria, and his deputy, Reuters and NBC News reported Tuesday.

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Al-Agal was responsible for developing ISIS networks outside Iraq and Syria.

The drone strike took place in northwestern Syria. Al-Agal’s deputy was seriously injured, according to US Central Command (CENTCOM).

“Extensive planning went into this operation to ensure its successful execution,” CENTCOM said. “An initial review indicates there were no civilian casualties.”

“The removal of these ISIS leaders will disrupt the terrorist organization’s ability to further plot and carry out global attacks,” CENTCOM spokesperson Col. Joe Buccino added.

“ISIS continues to represent a threat to the U.S. and partners in the region,” Buccino said. “CENTCOM maintains a sufficient and sustainable presence in the region and will continue to counter threats against regional security.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.