American forces, working with the Syrian Democratic Forces, captured an ISIS provincial official in a helicopter raid in eastern Syria this morning, U.S. Central Command announced.
The ISIS official, identified solely as “Batar,” was ”involved in planning attacks on SDF-guarded detention centers and manufacturing improvised explosive devices,” per CENTCOM. No American or allied fighter was injured, nor were any civilians, CENTCOM said.
No additional information on the raid was immediately available.
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The raid is the latest in recent days targeting ISIS officials and commanders. On Wednesday, U.S. forces killed Ibrahim Al Qahtani, identified as an ISIS official tied to prison breaks. On Thursday, another raid in eastern Syria killed Hamza al-Homsi, an ISIS commander in the region. Four American service members and a military service dog were wounded by an explosion during the raid.
Since the terrorist group’s final stronghold of Baghouz fell in 2019, American troops and the Syrian Democratic Forces have been hunting members of the organization. ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi died last February in a U.S. raid.. His similarly named successor Abu al-Hassan al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi was killed in November in a firefight with the anti-Assad forces of the separate Free Syrian Army. In total, American forces carried out 313 operations against the militants in 2022.
The United States has been stepping up anti-ISIS operations in recent months. In January American special operations forces killed an ISIS leader and other members in Somalia. That was notable for being a helicopter raid involving ground combat troops, rather than the airstrikes the U.S. mainly does in Somalia against the militant group al-Shabaab. The three raids this past week mark one of the highest intensities of operations in the last several months.
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