Remarks in Response to China and Russia at a UN Security Council Briefing on the Secretary-General’s Report on the Threat Posed by ISIS

Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis
Senior Advisor for Special Political Affairs
New York, New York
February 9, 2022


Thank you, Mr. President. I made reference in my intervention to the operation by U.S. forces in Syria against ISIS last week. Two Council members, among other points, have expressed concern about reported civilian casualties, so, for the record, let me say the following.

Unfortunately, ISIS once again revealed its barbarity. In a final act of cowardice and displaying a never-ended disregard for innocent lives, Haji Abdullah detonated an explosive device shortly after U.S. forces arrived on site, killing himself, a woman and three children.

There were additional women and children at the site, a possibility for which our forces were well prepared. An associate of Hajji Abdullah, an ISIS lieutenant, barricaded himself and members of his own family in the second floor. He and his wife engaged the assault force. They were also killed in the course of the operation.

In the early stages of the operation, the family on the first floor – one woman, one man, and a number of children – were safely removed from the site.

After this second ISIS terrorist was eliminated, additional children came out of the second-floor dwelling areas and were safely removed from the site.

The important thing here is that ISIS has made clear, over and over again, its utter and complete disregard for human life and that was clearly on display last week – just as it was when his predecessor detonated a suicide vest, killing himself and his family during the 2019 operation. And I would ask Council members to keep that in mind.

Thank you, Mr. President.