U.S. forces kill Islamic State official in eastern Syria
BEIRUT (AP) — The U.S. military said Thursday it conducted a helicopter-borne raid that killed an official from the Islamic State group in a government-held village in northeastern Syria.
According to U.S. Central Command, the attack targeted Rakkad Wahid al-Shammari, who smuggles weapons and militants for the group. It said one of his associates was wounded and two others were captured.
CENTCOM added that no civilians or U.S. forces were killed or wounded in the operation.
The U.S. military did not say where the raid happened. But Syrian state media and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based opposition war monitor, both said the operation took place in Saray al-Mulook, a village southwest of Qamishli under the Syrian government control.
The monitoring group said U.S. forces used loudspeakers to tell residents to return home and turn their lights off before the attack was launched.
The operation in a government-held location is a rare event, with U.S. forces and allied Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces fighters frequently targeting IS militants in parts of northeastern Syria under Kurdish control.
Despite their defeat in Syria in 2019, when IS lost the last sliver of land its fighters once controlled, the extremists’ sleepers cells have continued to carry out deadly attacks in Syria and Iraq. IS fighters once held large parts of the two countries.