US airborne raid nets high IS operative in Syria

The constructing the place US coalition forces performed an in a single day airborne operation to seize an Islamic State group bombmaker, within the village of Hmeirah within the north of Syria’s Aleppo province on June 16, 2022. Photograph: AFP 

BEIRUT: US coalition forces stated they captured a senior Islamic State group bomb maker in an airborne operation earlier than daybreak Thursday in northern Syria.

A warfare monitor and AFP correspondents stated helicopters touched down for only some minutes in a village in an space managed by Turkish-backed insurgent teams.

The US-led coalition devoted to battling the group within the area didn’t title the goal.

“The captured particular person is an skilled bomb maker and operational facilitator who grew to become one of many high leaders of Daesh’s Syrian department,” it stated, utilizing one other title for IS.

Such operations by US forces are uncommon in areas of northwestern Syria which are below the management of Turkish-backed rebels and non-IS teams.

The newest beforehand was a raid in early February that led to the demise of the group’s chief Abu Ibrahim al-Qurashi, who detonated a bomb vest to keep away from seize.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a warfare monitoring group with an unlimited community of sources on the bottom, couldn’t verify the id of the IS operative captured on Thursday.

Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman informed AFP that two helicopters landed in Hmeirah and took off seven minutes later, including that only some pictures had been fired in the course of the operation.

“The US operation was fast and easy,” he stated. “It passed off within the village of Hmeirah, northeast of the town of Aleppo and 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) from the Turkish border.”

The coalition stated in its assertion that “the mission was meticulously deliberate to minimise the chance of collateral injury, significantly any potential hurt to civilians.

“There have been no civilians harmed in the course of the operation nor any injury to coalition plane or belongings.”

Desert hideouts 

After IS misplaced its final territory following a navy onslaught backed by the US-led coalition in March 2019, its remnants in Syria principally retreated into desert hideouts.

IS cells have since ambushed Kurdish-led forces and Syrian authorities or allied forces, additionally finishing up related assaults in Iraq.

The Islamic State group’s high leaders nevertheless usually take cowl in areas managed by different forces and the place its personal fighters usually are not lively.

Qurashi’s infamous predecessor, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was additionally killed in a US particular forces raid in northwestern Syria, removed from IS’s space of operations.

Since Qurashi’s demise, the group has saved spreading its message on-line, arguing that the West is weakened whereas within the Ukraine warfare “the crusaders (are) combating one another”.

Little is understood about new chief Abu Hasan al-Hashemi al-Qurashi, the group’s third chief since its inception.

Media studies that he was captured in Istanbul final month had been by no means confirmed, with a Turkish official solely telling AFP {that a} senior however unidentified IS member had been detained.

Observers have lengthy feared a resurgence of IS within the badlands that straddle the Iraqi-Syrian border and shaped the center of the group’s as soon as sprawling proto-state.

But with fixed coalition strain on its management and its sources of financing, the group nonetheless has no fastened positions in both nation and the depth of its assaults has remained largely unchanged since 2019.

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