French forces have killed Adnan Abou Walid al Sahraoui, leader of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISIS-GS), French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Twitter early Thursday, CNN report.
French minister for the armed forces, Florence Parly, tweeted Thursday that military and intelligence agents had contributed to a “long-term hunt” for the ISIS-GS leader, which she described as a “decisive blow” for the group.
“This is another major success in our fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel,” President Macron tweeted.
His age is unclear.
Sahara ISIS Chief Killed
al-Sahrawi’s group has been blamed for killing the US and French troops in the troubled Sahel region
France’s President Emmanuel Macron announced the death of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara’s leader late Wednesday, calling Adnan Abu al-Walid al-Sahrawi’s killing “a major success” for the French military after more than eight years fighting extremists in the Sahel.
Adnan Abou Walid al Sahraoui, chef du groupe terroriste État islamique au Grand Sahara a été neutralisé par les forces françaises. Il s’agit d’un nouveau succès majeur dans le combat que nous menons contre les groupes terroristes au Sahel.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) September 15, 2021
Macron tweeted that al-Sahrawi “was neutralized by French forces” but gave no further details.
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It was not announced where al-Sahrawi was killed, though the Islamic State group is active along with Mali and Niger.
So, who al-Sahrawi is and what his death means in a larger perspective.
Al-Sahrawi was born in Laayoune, Western Sahara, into a wealthy trading family that fled the city for refugee camps in Algeria.
He joined the Polisario Front, a rebel national liberation movement by the Sahrawi people (of the Sahara) claiming the Western Sahara, which Spain had controlled, and Mauritania, and received military training.
In 2010, he joined the Katiba Tarik ibn Zayd, a unit of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
It is reported that in 2015, al-Sahrawi declared his allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and formed the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.