Inside the US Special Forces mission that eliminated Haji Abdullah

Babak Taghvaee describes the US Army Special Forces’ mission to track down and eliminate the so-called Islamic State leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi.

MH-47G [USAF/Airman 1st Class Joseph Pick]
An MH-47G from the US Army’s 160th SOAR (A) ‘Night Stalkers’ is shadowed by a second Chinook as it receives fuel from an MC-130J Commando II of the USAF’s 9th Special Operations Squadron during a night-time training sortie on July 10, 2017. USAF/Airman 1st Class Joseph Pick

In the early hours of February 4, 2022, two MH-60M Black Hawks and a MH-47G Chinook of the US Army Special Forces approached a three-story building in the Turkish-backed Islamist-held area of Idlib province, Syria. The three helicopters were carrying at least 40 soldiers from the US Army’s elite Delta Force. Minutes after evacuating civilians from the area, Delta forces entered a building inhabited by the so-called Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi – known as Haji Abdullah – along with several of his entourage.

The US forc

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