A senior leader of the ISIS terrorist group, Abu al Umarayn, was killed in a drone strike in Syria on Dec. 2, the U.S.-led coalition has told Fox News Pentagon correspondent Lucas Tomlinson. Al Umarayn had been involved in the killing of former U.S. Army ranger Peter Kassig.
Coalition spokesperson Col. Sean Ryan told Fox News, “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.
“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 said that several other ISIS members were also killed in the precision drone strike.
In Nov. 16, 2014, ISIS released a video of a masked terrorist standing over a severed head that it claimed belonged to Kassig. The White house confirmed Kassig’s death hours later after a review of the video, which also showed the mass beheadings of a dozen Syrian soldiers. Kassig was 26 at the time.
“This is Peter Edward Kassig, a U.S. citizen … who fought against the Muslims in Iraq,” said the black-clad terrorist in a doctored video speaking with a British accent that disguised his identity. The video did not show Kassig’s actual beheading.
Kassig, who served in one of the U.S. Army’s special operations unit, the 75th Ranger Regiment, was deployed to Iraq in 2007. He returned to the United States later that year after being honorably discharged for medical reasons.
In 2012, Kassig formed an aid organization in Turkey called Special Emergency Response and Assistance (SERA) to help Syrian refugees.
Kassig was also a certified emergency medical technician who provided trauma care to wounded Syrians and helped train more than 100 civilians to provide medical aid.
After his capture by ISIS in eastern Syria on Oct. 1, 2013, while delivering food and medical supplies for SERA, Kassig had converted to Islam and took the name Abdul-Rahman Kassig.
He was taken hostage by ISIS in eastern Syria on Oct. 1, 2013, while delivering food and medical supplies to refugee camps for Syrians who had been caught in the country’s civil war.
According to a former hostage, Kassig voluntarily converted to Islam while in captivity and took the first name Abdul-Rahman Kassig sometime between October and December 2013 when he shared a cell with a devout Syrian Muslim. In a statement released Oct. 5, 2014, his parents wrote that they believe Kassig’s “journey towards Islam” began before his captivity in October 2013.
Just prior to the White House confirming Kassig’s death on Nov. 16, 2014, Kassig’s family released the following statement, in part:
“We are aware of the news reports being circulated about our treasured son and are waiting for confirmation from the government as to the authenticity of these reports.
“The family respectfully asks that the news media avoid playing into the hostage takers’ hands and refrain from publishing or broadcasting photographs or video distributed by the hostage takers.
“We prefer our son is written about and remembered for his important work and the love he shared with friends and family, not in the manner the hostage takers would use to manipulate Americans and further their cause.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
From NTD News