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WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden said Thursday a global “terrorist threat” was removed when the head of the Islamic State group blew himself up after US special forces swooped on his Syrian hideout in an “incredibly challenging” nighttime helicopter raid.

“The United States military forces successfully removed a major terrorist threat to the world, the global leader of ISIS,” Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, Biden said in nationally televised remarks.

US will ‘find you,’ Biden tells ‘terrorists’ after Syria raid

The operation dealt the biggest setback to the jihadist IS organization since Qurashi’s predecessor, the better-known Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed in a US commando raid in the same Syrian region of Idlib in 2019.

In brief, somber remarks delivered in the White House’s Roosevelt Room, Biden said he ordered an assault by troops, rather than merely bombing the house where the IS leader was located, in order to minimize civilian casualties, even though this meant “ much greater risk to our own people.”

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