‘War crime’: Biden admin takes heat for ISIS raid amid reports of six children, four women killed

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The Biden administration was “successful” Thursday in killing a top ISIS leader during a raid in Syria, although like with its previous operations, it appears this killing came at a grave cost.

“Syrian rescue workers said at least 13 people including six children and four women were killed by clashes and explosions that erupted after the raid began, targeting a house in the Atmeh area near the Turkish border,” according to Reuters.

Among the dead was Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Quraishi, who’d been leading the terrorist group ever since Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died “like a coward” during a Trump administration raid in 2019.

Al-Quraishi reportedly blew himself up at the last minute.

During a briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki reportedly said “U.S. officials believe al-Qurayshi’s explosive killed himself, his wife, and three children,” according to the Associated Press.

But this still leaves the other three children unaccounted for. It’s not yet clear how they died, though some suspect the American government is responsible.

During the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan back in August, a drone strike by the same administration “accidentally” killed an entire family, including seven children:

However, a man who lives nearby the raid site told Al Jazeera that he witnessed “a woman who apparently detonated an explosive vest,” and so there’s the possibility that the other children were also killed by suicide bombs.

Following news of the raid breaking Thursday morning, President Joe Biden took to Twitter to take credit for it — all of it.

“Last night, operating on my orders, U.S. military forces successfully removed a major terrorist threat to the world: the global leader of ISIS,” he wrote.


The president also delivered remarks from the White House. While they were mostly of the same tenor as his Twitter statement, the president did at one point suggest that all the civilian causalities were the result of al-Quraishi.

“Biden said civilian casualties were caused when Qurayshi detonated a huge explosion that killed members of his family and himself,” The Washington Post reported.

Speaking anonymously with Fox News, two unnamed officials disputed some of the administration’s narrative, saying that the information coming directly from the ground regarding civilian deaths does “not correspond with what U.S. officials say occurred on the ground last night.”

It’s not clear what specific information the officials were referencing.

The operation against al-Quraishi appears to contrast quite sharply with the operation three years ago against al-Baghdadi.

At the time, then-President Donald Trump announced that al-Baghdadi had “died after running into a dead-end tunnel, whimpering and crying and screaming all the way.”

“The compound had been cleared by this time, with people either surrendering or being shot and killed. Eleven young children were moved out of the house and are uninjured,” he said.

“The only ones remaining were Baghdadi in the tunnel, and he had dragged three of his young children with him. They were led to certain death. He reached the end of the tunnel as our dogs chased him down. He ignited his vest, killing himself and the three children.”

Unlike with the current president’s streak of botched raids, no children were killed by U.S. personnel during the 2019 raid.


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Vivek Saxena


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