The US military has targeted a senior ISIS leader in a helicopter raid in northeast Syria, according to a US Central Command spokesperson.
Central Command (CENTCOM) revealed on Twitter that US forces conducted a helicopter raid in northern Syria in the early hours of this morning.
The target was a senior ISIS Syria leader and operational planner responsible for planning terror attacks in the Middle East and Europe.
CENTCOM said that the targeted individual was ‘probably’ killed and that two other armed individuals were also killed in the raid.
It added that no US troops were wounded and no US helicopters were damaged.
General Michael ‘Erik’ Kurilla (pictured), a CENTCOM Commander, said: ‘Though degraded, ISIS remains able to conduct operations within the region with a desire to strike beyond the Middle East. We will continue the relentless campaig against ISIS’
A US armoured military vehicle drives on the outskirts of Rumaylan in Syria’s northeastern Hasakeh province, bordering Turkey, on March 27, 2023
Khalid ‘Aydd Ahmad al-Jabouri was reportedly speaking on a phone on the outskirts of the town of Killi, in Syria’s Idlib province, when he was killed in the previous US targeted attack on April 3. Today’s raid targeted a senior ISIS leader also in northern Syria
According to CENTCOM’s assessment, no civilians were killed or injured in the raid.
General Michael ‘Erik’ Kurilla, a CENTCOM Commander, said: ‘Though degraded, ISIS remains able to conduct operations within the region with a desire to strike beyond the Middle East. We will continue the relentless campaig against ISIS.’
Colonel Joe Buccino said: ‘This operation reaffirms CENTCOM’s steadfast commitment to the region and the enduring defeat of ISIS.’
Buccino promised CENTCOM would provide additional details soon.
The identity of the alleged senior leader and target has not yet been revealed.
He also said that no US forces were wounded and no US helicopters were shot down in the raid.
Syria’s White Helmets, a civil defense group operating in opposition-held areas of northern Syria, said it transported two people wounded during the raid to a local hospital, which later said they had died. A third person was killed when the U.S. forces landed for the raid, the White Helmets said.
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, which partners with the U.S. in anti-IS operations in northeast Syria, said that the operation was launched from a base near the town of Kobani and targeted a military site belonging to a Turkish-backed armed opposition group, Suqour al-Shamal, in the village of village of Suwayda in the region of Jarablus, near the Turkish border.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, reported that the raid had resulted in the arrest of a senior IS leader and killed three people. The U.S. military made no mention of any arrests.
As part of the US’s ongoing campaign to defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq and prevent the terror organisation from growing again, the US military captured an ISIS operative and two of his associates just a week ago in eastern Syria during another helicopter raid.
The Islamic State group, which swept through Iraq and Syria in 2014, taking control of large swaths of territory, was defeated in Syria in 2019, but sleeper cells maintain a presence and periodically stage attacks on military and civilian targets.
On April 3, a US drone strike in Syria killed a senior ISIS leader in charge of planning attacks in Europe, CENTCOM announced.
It confirmed the operation took out Khalid ‘Aydd Ahmad al-Jabouri – which will now ‘temporarily disrupt the organisation’s ability to plot external attacks.’
The terrorist was responsible for planning attacks into Europe and developing the leadership structure for ISIS, the US Department of Defense command said.
He was reportedly speaking on a phone on the outskirts of the town of Killi, in Syria’s Idlib province, when he was targeted by a Hellfire missile, according to local outlets.
General Michael Kurilla said ISIS ‘continues to represent a threat to the region and beyond.’
‘Though degraded, the group remains able to conduct operations within the region with a desire to strike beyond the Middle East.’
No civilians were killed or injured in this strike, CENTCOM said in its statement.
The strike was the latest in a series of attacks over the past years targeting al-Qaida-linked militants and senior members of the Islamic State group in northwestern Syria.