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US military raid in Syria captures ISIS ‘attack facilitator’

U.S. forces conducted the helicopter raid on the evening of April 8.
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Syria ISIS raid Central Command
FILE: A U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter assigned to A Company, 224th Aviation Regiment, 2nd Battalion prepares to take off on a transportation mission at Erbil, Iraq, Jan. 14, 2017. (U.S. Army photo)

United States Central Command announced today that it had captured three Islamic State (ISIS) leaders during an operation in Syria on April 8. 

“Hudayfah al Yemeni, an ISIS attack facilitator, and two of his associates,” were captured during a helicopter raid in eastern Syria, according to a statement from U.S. Central Command. 

“Operations against ISIS are important for the security and stability of the region,” said Col. Joe Buccino, a U.S. Central Command spokesperson. “ISIS remains a threat to the region and beyond – the group retains the capability to conduct operations in Iraq and Syria with a desire to strike beyond the Middle East, and its vile ideology remains a threat. Operations such as this one reaffirms our commitment to the enduring defeat of ISIS.”

The raid comes less than a month after a drone strike at a coalition base in Syria killed one U.S. civilian contractor and wounded five U.S. service members and a second civilian contractor. Within hours of that attack, U.S. forces launched retaliatory strikes targeting “facilities used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC),” according to Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin.

Just a day later, on March 24, U.S. forces at two other bases in Syria came under attack, resulting in one service member being injured. 

In February, four U.S. service members and a military working dog were wounded during a raid in northeastern Syria that killed Hamza al-Homsi, a senior leader within ISIS. Earlier that month, on February 10, another raid conducted alongside Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces personnel killed an ISIS leader as part of a broader series of operations designed to prevent the terrorist group from reestablishing itself in Syria and neighboring Iraq. 

There are currently around 900 troops deployed to Syria as part of Operation Inherent Resolve. In March 2023 Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley visited U.S. troops in Syria, reiterating his commitment to the counter-terrorism mission that remains ongoing there. 

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