U.S.-led Coalition Says It Detained Senior ISIS Leader in Syria

The detained official was a top ISIS leader in Syria and an experienced bomb maker, and was reportedly captured in the Turkish-controlled region of northern Syria under the auspices of the Syrian National Army, marking the first such coalition operation in the area

Reuters
Reuters
FILE: People inspect a destroyed house following an operation by the U.S. military in the Syrian village of Atmeh in Idlib province, Syria, in February.
FILE: People inspect a destroyed house following an operation by the U.S. military in the Syrian village of Atmeh in Idlib province, Syria, in February.Credit: Ghaith Alsayed /AP
Reuters
Reuters

The U.S. detained a senior Islamic State group leader in Syria during an early-morning operation on Thursday, the U.S.-led international coalition against ISIS announced, the first such coalition operation in areas effectively under Turkish control.

The coalition conducts raids and strikes targeting the group's members, which has been waging insurgent attacks since its former leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed in a U.S. operation in 2019.

"The detained individual was assessed to be an experienced bomb maker and facilitator who became one of the group’s top leaders in Syria," the statement said, adding no civilians were harmed during the operation nor aircraft damaged.

International Coalition for Operation Inherent Resolve, the global U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State, announces the capture of a senior ISIS leader in Syria on Thursday.

The coalition did not specify in what part of Syria Thursday's raid took place.

A spokesperson for the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army — which controls swaths of territory in northern Syria — told Reuters earlier on Thursday that coalition forces had carried out a helicopter raid in the village of Al-Humaira just south of the Turkish border, the first operation of its kind in the area.

Major Youssef Hamoud, a spokesman for the SNA, said U.S.-made Chinook and Black Hawk helicopters were involved in the operation but that the exact circumstances were unclear at the time.

"This is the first (U.S.) helicopter landing operation to happen" in areas under the SNA's control, he said.

A source in touch with rebels in the area said clashes erupted during the operation.

U.S. special forces in February undertook a helicopter raid in Syria's Idlib province controlled by jihadist Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) that led to the death of Islamic State leader Abu Ibrahim Al-Hashemi Al-Quraishi.

Quraishi had led the group since the death of its founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was also killed when he detonated explosives during a U.S. raid in 2019.

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