Kuwait backs US action on Al-Zawahri

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Riyadh welcomes announcement

KUWAIT CITY, Aug 2, (Agecies): The Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday welcomed US President Joe Biden’s announcement on the targeting and killing of the terrorist Al- Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahri. In a press statement, the ministry pointed out the seriousness of operations launched by terrorist organizations by targeting international security and stability and human safety.

It underlined that Kuwait utterly backs all international efforts to wipe out the phenomenon of terrorism so that humanity would enjoy safety and the world would have security and stability. Saudi Arabia also welcomed on Tuesday the US announcement regarding the elimination of Al-Zawahri. According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Saudi Arabia welcomed US President Joe Biden’s announcement on the targeting and killing of the terrorist Al-Zawahri. Al-Zawahri is considered, “One of the leaders of terrorism that steered the planning and execution of heinous terrorist operations in the US, Saudi Arabia and other countries, killing thousands of innocent people of different nationalities and religions, including Saudi citizens,” the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced.

“Saudi Arabia stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation and concerted international efforts to combat and eradicate terrorism, calling on all countries to cooperate in this framework to protect innocent people from terrorist organizations,” the Ministry added. US President Joe Biden on Monday confirmed the killing of Al-Zawahri in a US military drone strike in Afghanistan over the weekend. In a statement by the White House, President Biden said, “This mission was carefully planned, rigorously minimized the risk of harm to other civilians. And one week ago, after being advised that the conditions were optimal, I gave the final approval to go get him, and the mission was a success. None of his family members were hurt and there were no civilian casualties.”

“After carefully considering the clear and convincing evidence of his location, I authorized a precision strike that would remove him from the battlefield once and for all.” Al-Zawahri began leading Al- Qaeda on June 16, 2011 after previous leader Osama bin Laden was eliminated by US troops in May of the same year.

Al-Zawahri was the second man in Al- Qaeda and a mastermind behind several operations, leading the US to offer USD 25 million to anyone offering information on his whereabouts. The operation is a significant counterterrorism win for the Biden administration just 11 months after American troops left the country after a two-decade war. The strike was carried out by the CIA, according to five people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Neither Biden nor the White House detailed the CIA’s involvement in the strike. Biden, however, paid tribute to the U.S. intelligence community in his remarks, noting that “thanks to their extraordinary persistence and skill” the operation was a success. Inside the Biden administration, only a small group of officials at key agencies, as well as Vice President Kamala Harris, were brought into the process. Through May and June, Biden was updated several times on the growing mound of intelligence that confirmed al-Zawahri was hiding out in the home.

Over the last few weeks, Biden brought together several Cabinet officials and key national security officials to scrutinize the intelligence findings. On July 1, Biden was briefed in the Situation Room about the planned operation, a briefing in which the president closely examined a scale model of the home al-Zawahri was hiding out in. He gave his final approval for the operation on Thursday. Al-Zawahri was on the balcony of his hideout on Sunday when two Hellfire missiles were launched from an unmanned drone, killing him.

Al-Zawahri’s family was in another part of the house when the operation was carried out, and no one else was believed to have been killed in the operation, the official said. “We make it clear again tonight: That no matter how long it takes, no matter where you hide, if you are a threat to our people, the United States will find you and take you out,” Biden said. Al-Zawahri was hardly a household name like bin Laden, but he played an enormous role in the terror group’s operations. The two terror leaders’ bond was forged in the late 1980s, when al-Zawahri reportedly treated the Saudi millionaire bin Laden in the caves of Afghanistan as Soviet bombardment shook the mountains around them. His death is likely to lead to greater disarray within the organization than bin Laden’s death in May 2011 did, since it is far less clear who his successor at the head of the terror network would be.

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