Adan abou walid al Sahrawi had 5M$ bounty on his head
The leader of the Islamic State organization in the Sahara has been killed by French troops, according to President Emmanuel Macron. In 2015, Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi founded the Islamic State of Greater Sahara (ISGS).
The gang of Islamic State organization is suspected to being behind the majority of attacks in the region, including the assassination of French aid workers in 2020 in which Sahrawi personally ordered the killing of six French charity workers and their Nigerian driver.
In late 2019, a series of large-scale strikes on military bases in Mali and Niger prompted the fatalities. In 2017, the organization was also suspected of being behind a deadly attack on US forces in Niger.
“Another important accomplishment in our fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel”, Mr Macron said of Sahrawi’s death
The Sahel is a three-million-square-kilometer (1.16-square-mile) region of Africa that runs from Senegal in the west to Somalia in the east, south of the Sahara desert.
Drug runners, people smugglers, and extremists like the ISGS take advantage of the Sahel’s open borders. Attacks by jihadists have also spread to Nigeria.
In July, Macron announced that France would begin reorganizing its force in the Sahel, where it has been fighting Islamist extremists on the front lines, and would eventually decrease its military commitment.
Mr Macron did not reveal the operation’s location or any other specifics.
French Defence Minister Florence Parly tweeted that Sahrawi died after a strike by France’s Operation Barkhane force, which fights Islamist militants in the Sahel, mostly in Mali, Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso. She went on to say that it was a “decisive blow against this terrorist organization,” and that the “battle” will go on.
Le chef de l’EIGS – n°1 de Daech au Sahel – est mort à la suite d’une frappe de la force Barkhane. Je félicite les militaires et agents de renseignement qui ont contribué à cette traque de longue haleine. C’est un coup décisif contre ce groupe terroriste. Notre combat continue. https://t.co/zqNPB3HCRN— Florence Parly (@florence_parly) September 15, 2021
For years, French forces have been on the lookout for Islamist networks in the region. France intervened in 2013 to prevent an al-Qaeda offshoot from seizing control of Bamako, the Malian capital. In the Sahel, two missions are now operating: a UN peacekeeping force with 56 nations and 14,000 troops, and Operation Barkhane, a French-led counter-terrorism effort backed by US intelligence.
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