The US military announces that it has assassinated several leaders of the Islamic State organization in Syria

US forces have killed several leaders of the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group in Syria during a helicopter operation and airstrike, the US command said on Thursday (6 Oct).

The helicopter operation took place overnight from Wednesday to Thursday in northeastern Syria, the US military command for the Middle East (Centcom) wrote in a first press release.

“On Wednesday night, US forces carried out a helicopter attack near Qamichli, targeting Rakan Wahid Al-Shamri, an Islamic State official known for facilitating arms smuggling and the clandestine transport of fighters.”Centcom said. “The targeted individual was killed and one of his companions was injured. Two other companions were captured.Centcom added, without specifying the nationality of the dead official. No US soldiers or civilians were killed or wounded in the operation, according to the same source.

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This attack took place in an enclave occupied by auxiliary forces of the Syrian regime, near the town of Qamichli controlled by Kurdish forces allied with US troops, according to concordant sources.

fire exchange

This is the first time since the start of the war in Syria in 2011 that US troops have carried out a helicopter operation in an area under the control of the Bashar Al-Assad regime, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH). Hundreds of US troops are deployed in northeastern Syria as part of an anti-jihadist coalition led by Washington, which continues to fight, along with its Kurdish allies in the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), IS sleeper cells.

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In Damascus, Syrian state television reported on a helicopter operation “American Occupation Forces” in which a person was killed. She did not elaborate.

“Three US helicopters with troops have landed” near the village of Moulouk Saray, a local resident described to Agence France-Presse (AFP). the american army “He called, with loudspeakers, the inhabitants to stay at home”, before looking for a house. they have there “Killed one person and kidnapped two”added on condition of anonymity.

According to him, the murdered person was a displaced person from the Syrian province of Hassaké, little known by the inhabitants and who called himself Abu Hayel. The villager claimed a shootout pitted US soldiers against a Syrian regime proxy force. The OSDH reported for its part that two people had been captured, who would be an Iraqi and a Syrian.

No civilians affected

The US command later said in a second statement that it had killed two other leaders of the jihadist group during an airstrike in northern Syria. This second attack would have made it possible, according to Centcom, to kill “Both Abu-Hashum Al-Umawi (…) and another senior ISIS official”without affecting civilians. “This attack will weaken the ability of the Islamic State to destabilize the region and attack our forces and our partners.”commented the head of the US command in the region, General Michael Kurilla.

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After a meteoric rise to power in 2014 in Iraq and neighboring Syria and the conquest of vast territories, IS saw its self-proclaimed “caliphate” crumble under the impact of successive offensives. He was defeated in 2017 in Iraq and in 2019 in Syria. But the Sunni extremist group responsible for multiple abuses continues to carry out sleeper cell attacks in both countries.

The United States continues to attack IS leaders. In July, they announced that they had killed a senior Islamic State official in a drone strike in northwestern Syria. In June they reported the capture of an IS leader in a helicopter operation in northern Syria.

ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was killed in a US raid in 2019 and his successor, Abu Ibrahim Al-Hashimi Al-Qurachi, was killed in February 2022 in a US special forces operation in northwestern Syria, a region largely controlled by jihadists. .

The complex war in Syria, a fragmented country where different protagonists intervene, has claimed around 500,000 lives since 2011.

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The world with AFP

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