A close associate of Islamic State (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who is tied to the New Year’s Eve nightclub bombing in Turkey, was killed by U.S. forces in Syria two weeks ago, Central Command announced Friday.
Troops killed the terrorist, Abdurakhmon Uzbeki on April 6, according to Col. John Thomas, chief spokesman for U.S. Central Command.
“He was known to interact with him in various ways over time,” Thomas was quoted by CNN as having said about Uzbeki’s relationship with al-Baghdadi.
Uzbeki is believed to have facilitated the attack on a nightclub in Istanbul that killed 39, including an Israeli.
“He was involved in plotting external terror plots,” Thomas said, according to CNN. “We’ve clearly linked him with the Istanbul” attack.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack two days after it took place. It was later reported that the terrorist who carried it out, Abdulgadir Masharipov, told police he acted on direct orders from ISIS in Syria.
The ground operation in which Uzbeki was killed was conducted by U.S. Special Operations forces near Mayadin, Syria, a defense official who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the operation told CNN on Friday.
Mayadin is located in Deir Ezzor province in eastern Syria.
The operation is a rare use of U.S. Special Operations ground units for combat inside Syria.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)