Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News
On Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed that members of his nation’s military had killed Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi, a key figure in ISIS and the man believed to be responsible for the deaths of four U.S. soldiers in 2017.
“This is another major success in our fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel,” Macron tweeted.
As first reported by the Associated Press, al-Sahrawi was killed last month via a drone strike in Mali, a landlocked country in West Africa. A missile struck a motorcycle carrying al-Sahrawi and a second person.
French military forces led the mission and were supported by troops from the United States, European Union, Mali, and Niger, all nations who have been terrorized by al-Sahrawi, who was the leader of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISIS-GS).
al-Sahrawi first gained international attention in October 2017, when he orchestrated an attack in Niger that led to the deaths of four American soldiers as well as eight Nigerians. The Americans were in Niger on a reconnaissance mission and, according to NBC News, and had requested a meeting with elders in a village believed to be sympathetic to ISIS only to be ambushed.
According to Macron’s office, al-Sahrawi had also personally ordered the execution of six French foreign aid workers in 2020 and was responsible for the deaths of between 2,000 and 3,000 African civilians.
“It is a decisive blow against this terrorist group,” French Defense Minister Florence Parly tweeted. “Our fight continues.”
As outlined by The Guardian, al-Sahrawi’s death is a significant loss for ISIS, but the group is hardly defeated.
In recent months, ISIS has gained influence and territory in Nigeria, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Sahel region, which stretches the width of Northern African between the Sahara Desert and Sudanese Sahara.
In Nigeria, the ISIS-linked West African Province recently routed rival-terrorist group Boko Haram and killed its leader.