President Emmanuel Macron took to Twitter on Thursday to announce that his forces “neutralized” Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi, the head of ISIS in the Greater Sahara.
“This is another major success in our fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel,” he said.
There were few details about the military action.
The New York Times reported that al-Sahraoui claimed responsibility on the group’s behalf of the ambush attack in the Tong Tongo region of Niger.
A 12-member Army special forces unit was accompanying 30 Nigerien troops on a mission to capture or kill a high-level terror leader in West Africa when they were outnumbered and attacked by more than 100 extremists carrying small arms.
The Times pointed out that the four Americans killed included two Green Berets. Five Nigerien soldiers were also killed.
The Associated Press contributed to this report