An American aid worker and Army Ranger who was brutally murdered by ISIS was avenged Sunday when an ISIS leader involved in his killing was taken down by U.S. coalition airstrikes.
Peter Kassig was beheaded by ISIS after being captured while helping Syrian refugees in 2013. ISIS leader Abu al Umarayn is the first publicly identified ISIS operative connected with Kassig’s killing.
The U.S.-led coalition in Syria confirmed the jihadist’s death on Monday.
ISIS leader killed in drone strike
Umarayn was hiding in Syria’s southeastern Badiyah Desert when he was taken out alongside several other ISIS operatives, coalition spokesperson Col. Sean Ryan said. The ISIS leader was an “imminent threat” and was involved in killing other prisoners.
“Al Umarayn had given indications of posing an imminent threat to Coalition Forces and he was involved in the killing of American Citizen and former U.S. Army Ranger, Peter Kassig,” officials said. “He has been linked to and directly involved with executing several other prisoners as a senior ISIS member.”
“Coalition airstrikes continue to disrupt ISIS command and control on the battlefield as we remove key figures from their ranks,” Ryan added.
Umarayn is the latest ISIS leader to be taken out with precision airstrikes by U.S. coalition forces in the military’s fight against the terror group.
Brutally murdered American gets justice
Born in Indiana, Kassig served in the 75th Ranger Regiment and was deployed to Iraq from April to July 2007 before getting medically discharged in September of that year. He later became an aid worker, forming Special Emergency Response and Assistance, or SERA, in Turkey to help Syrian refugees.
The 26-year old was also a medic, and he trained 150 Syrian civilians to administer first-aid.
Kassig was providing aid to refugees fleeing Syria’s civil war in October 2013 when ISIS abducted him. A former Methodist, Kassig converted to Islam in captivity, which lasted more than a year before his death, and adopted the first name Abdul-Rahman.
Kassig’s parents pleaded to ISIS for mercy but the terrorists published a video depicting “Jihadi John,” who was confirmed killed by an airstrike in 2015, standing over Kassig’s severed head. The U.S. government confirmed that the video was real.
Kassig was killed as ISIS was taking control over large swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq. A Trump administration-led effort has brought about the terror group’s defeat in the region over the last two years.
Umarayan’s death comes as the coalition is closing in on the group’s last remaining territory in pockets of eastern Syria along the Euphrates River.