The recent drone strike on the Turkish-occupied city of al-Bab in northern Syria has killed ISIS’s former Emir [governor] of “Raqqa Wilayat,” Fayz al-Akal, according to opposition sources.
The strike, that took place on June 20 noon, was reportedly carried out by a U.S. combat drone. The prominent terrorist was allegedly targeted with an AGM-114R9X “Ninja Bomb” missile.
Al-Akal, who is known by his nom de guerre “Abu Sa’d al-Shimali,” is originally from the town of Suluk in northern Raqqa. In 2008, Syrian security forces arrested him for carrying out an attack on Suluk’s police station.
The terrorist was freed from Raqqa’s prison in 2013 by the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which captured the city after a brief battle with government forces. Initially, al-Akal joined the FSA. However, soon after he enrolled in the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front, now known as Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham.
Al-Akal defected from HTS to join ISIS later. He rapidly rose within the group’s ranks until he was appointed as the Emir of Raqqa. In ISIS final days, the terrorist group falsely promoted that al-Akal was killed in order to cover his new work in its security forces
Abdu al-Nasir Qurdash, a senior ISIS commander who was recently arrested, revealed that al-Akal was very close to the group’s former leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He was responsible for issues related to the group’s finance, recruitment and operations abroad.
In his final days, al-Akal was moving in Turkish-occupied areas using a fake ID carrying the name of Ahmad Hussein al-Darwish. His younger brother Izzu al-Akal, aka Ayman, was reportedly killed with him in the drone strike.
One of al-Akal’s brothers was Hadi, Abu al-Harith, who was a commander of the al-Nusra Front in Raqqa. He was killed in a Syrian airstrike on Raqqa in 2013. Another brother of al-Akal is Fadel. According to a recent report, Fadel attended a Turkish-sponsored meeting in northern Raqqa to plan attacks against the Syrian Democratic Forces.
If this is confirmed, the elimination of al-Akal would be another blow to ISIS. In the last few months, the U.S. managed to eliminated several senior commanders of the terrorist group.