Western Europe

France eliminates leader of ISIL group, Macron says

12:59, 16 September 2021
France eliminates leader of ISIL group, Macron says Photo: Global Look Press/ZUMAPRESS.com/Alex Edelman

The leader of ISIL* in the Greater Sahara Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi who was accused of attacks on the US soldiers and foreigners in the Middle East was killed by the French troops, President Emmanuel Macron said on Twitter.

 “This is another major success in our fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel,” Macron said without providing any additional details.

The radical leader was involved in the murdering of French aid workers in 2020 and a deadly attack on US militants in Niger in 2017. The US has offered a $5 million reward for al-Sahrawi catching.

Al-Sahrawi used to be a member of the al-Qaeda group in the Islamic Maghreb who was responsible for kidnapping foreign workers and diplomats in Mali and Algeria.

The ISIL in the Greater Sahara regularly conducts terror attacks in Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso.

Last year, the French President halted a huge military operation against radical jihadists in Mali and Sahel after eight years of fighting. France withdrew a big part of 5,000 soldiers to focus on counter-terrorism and supporting local official forces.

“Their sacrifice is not in vain. With our African, European and American partners, we will continue this fight,” Macron said.

The jihadists took control over North Mali in 2012 therefore France intervened in Mali and drove out the radical forces from the main cities of Mali. However, the small jihadist group were still active and conducted a big number of attacks. 

* ISIL, the Islamic State terrorist organization Daesh and al-Qaeda are terror organizations banned in the US, Russia and many other countries.