The French government announced that they killed the top ISIS Leader in Africa. Adnan Abou Walid al-Sahrawi, the Islamic State leader in the Greater Sahara, died from a drone strike. The ISIS leader is on the US military’s most-wanted list and carries a $5 million bounty.
Al-Sahrawi masterminded an attack on US Green Berets in NIger four years ago. On Oct 4, 2017, al-Sahwari led more than 100 militants in attacking Operational Detachment-Alpha 3212 in Tongo Tongo.
The group attacked a team of soldiers from the 3rd Special Forces Group and ended up killing four American and six Nigerian soldiers.
French Forces Kill ISIS Leader
French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed via Twitter that French forces killed al-Sahrawi during an August drone strike.
“This is another major success in our fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel,” Macron tweeted. The drone strike occurred in late August. However, officials only managed to confirm the death of al-Sahrawi this month, the French and US counterterrorism officials explained.
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Macron did not give out details on the operation that finally got the ISIS Africa leader. However, sources said that US intelligence officials helped in planning the attack.
American intelligence previously helped execute raids carried out by French Special Forces in 2018. These raids killed many of the Tongo Tongo attackers. They also recovered American weapons and one vehicle from the Green Beret team attacked in 2017.
US Should Have Taken The Lead
The parents of Sgt 1st Class Jeremiah Johnson, who was killed during the Tongo Tongo attack, expressed thanks for the French forces.
However, they felt that the US should have taken the lead in the capture or killing of the ISIS leader. “We are profoundly grateful to the French Armed Forces for removing this threat to West Africa.
At the same time, we are disappointed that the United States did not exert the effort to bring this individual to justice,” Johnson’s mother and stepfather, Debbie and Ray Gannon said in a statement. “We should have made the effort to either kill or capture the individuals who were responsible for the ambush of ODA 3212 ourselves, instead of relying on other countries,” they added.
Also among the Americans who died during the 2017 attack were Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, Sgt. La David Johnson, and Staff Sgt. Bryan Black.
Black’s wife, author Michelle Black, wrote the book “Sacrifice: A Gold Star Widow’s Fight For The Truth”. She said the news helped with closure. “More death does not make losing Bryan any better.
But knowing there is one less evil man in this world brings me peace. Perhaps it will prevent other families from suffering terror at his hands and for me, that is enough,” she said. Black’s parents also expressed gratitude for the successful French operation.
Bringing This Chapter To An End
The French Defense Ministry said that the operation was conducted between Aug. 17-22, in partnership with the Malian armed forces. The operation pitted them against ISIS fighters in Mali’s Liptako region.
ODA 3212 company commander Major Alan Van Saun also expressed thanks for the strike. “Although nothing can take away the pain of losing our four fallen heroes, there is comfort in knowing that justice has been served,” he said.
“I am grateful for our French and African partners who worked tirelessly to bring this chapter to an end, but I know there is still a lot of work to be done to bring stability to the Sahel,” he told ABC News.
Watch the ABC news video reporting that French military forces kill the ISIS leader in Africa:
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