Three Daesh leaders killed in twin US operation

US forces killed three Daesh leaders in Syria during helicopter operations and airstrikes conducted between Wednesday evening and Thursday.

The helicopter operation, targeting Raghan Wahid al-Shamri, was conducted overnight in northeastern Syria from Wednesday to Thursday. wrote In the first press release from US Military Command for the Middle East (CENTCOM). It happened near the town of Qamichli, which is controlled by Kurdish forces allied with US troops, in an area held by Syrian regime forces, according to sources who agreed.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH) said it was the first time US forces had carried out a helicopter operation in an area controlled by the Bashar al-Assad regime since the war in Syria began in 2011.

Two officers were killed in the drone attack

Hundreds of U.S. troops are stationed in northeastern Syria as part of a U.S.-led anti-jihadist coalition that continues to battle Daesh’s sleeper cells, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), with its Kurdish allies.

The US command indicated in a second press release that it had killed two other leaders of the jihadist group during an airstrike in northern Syria. This second attack, according to Centcom, could kill “both Abu-Hashum al-Umawi (…) and another senior officer of Daesh” without harming civilians.

“This strike will destabilize the region and weaken (Daesh’s) ability to attack our forces and our partners,” commented General Michael Guerrilla, head of the US command in the region.

Kidnapping

In Damascus, Syrian state television reported that a helicopter operation by “US occupation forces” had killed one person. She did not give further details. “Three US helicopters picked up troops,” a local resident told AFP.

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Before searching a house, US soldiers “used loudspeakers to call on residents to stay at home”. They “killed one and kidnapped two”, he added on condition of anonymity. According to him, the killed person was a migrant from the Syrian province of Hassakeh, little known to the citizens and called himself Abu Hayal. A firefight pitted American soldiers against a Syrian regime proxy force, the villager said.

Sleeper cells

After a meteoric rise to power and sweeping swathes of territory in Iraq and neighboring Syria in 2014, Daesh has seen its self-proclaimed “caliphate” crumble under the brunt of a series of attacks. He was defeated in Iraq in 2017 and in Syria in 2019. But the Sunni militant group responsible for many of the abuses continues to carry out attacks through sleeper cells in both countries.

The US continues to target Daesh leaders. In July, they announced the killing of a senior official Drone strikes in northwest Syria. In June, a jihadist leader was captured in a helicopter operation in northern Syria, they said.

Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a US strike in 2019 and his successor, Abu Ibrahim al-Hachimi al-Qurachi, was eliminated in February 2022 in a US special forces operation in northwestern Syria. By jihadists. The complex war in Syria, a fragmented country with different protagonists intervening, has killed around 500,000 people since 2011.

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