Political News

US official says French ISIS operative likely killed in Syrian airstrike

Posted February 21, 2019 3:39 p.m. EST

— A French ISIS operative linked to the deadly 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris was likely killed in a strike in Syria in recent days, a US defense official tells CNN.

The 2015 attacks killed 130 people and wounded 494. The attackers, armed with assault rifles and explosives, targeted six locations across the city.

Fabien Clain, a veteran French ISIS operative, claimed responsibility for the attacks in an ISIS audiotape released the day after the attacks.

Clain, who officials believe worked to recruit operatives for a string of attacks in France, has been long sought by the French and US governments.

French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly tweeted Thursday that it was "possible" Clain was killed during coalition operations against ISIS' last remaining territory in Syria.

"The French citizens who remember his rallying calls for murder and his role in the pseudo-Islamic state, will surely be relieved," she wrote while adding "We remain vigilant, this information is not confirmed."

Col. Sean Ryan, a spokesman for the US-led coalition fighting ISIS, told CNN earlier Thursday that the coalition "cannot confirm at this time" whether Clain had been killed.