US special forces conduct midnight raid on government-administered area of Syria, killing ‘ISIS leader’ and imprisoning several others
- US special forces conduct raids deep into government-controlled territory, it has been reported
- One person, believed to be an ISIS leader, was killed in the operation in northeastern Syria
A US special forces operation involving several helicopters has killed one person in a government-controlled area in northeastern Syria, Syrian state television reported Thursday.
It is the first such operation in government-run territory, the British Observatory for Human Rights said, adding that the victim was likely a member of the Islamic State group.
The person killed in the operation “has been a resident of the area for years and is likely an Islamic State leader,” added the war monitoring group, which relies on a wide network of sources in Syria.
“U.S. occupation forces carried out a landing operation with several helicopters in the village of Muluk Saray in the southern countryside of Qamishli, killing one person,” the Syrian state broadcaster said, without elaborating.
The US Armed Forces Central Command (CENTCOM) said it would “not provide any information” at this time.
The targeted village is 17 kilometers (10 miles) south of the town of Qamishli and is controlled by Syrian government forces, according to the Observatory and AFP correspondents.
The raid was conducted deep into government-controlled territory in the village of Muluk Saray in the southern countryside of Qamishli
“It is the first time” that US troops have conducted such an operation in regime-controlled areas, the Observatory said.
Several other people were captured, the monitor said, without giving a figure.
A resident of the village said three US helicopters with troops had landed during the nighttime operation.
US troops raided a house, killed one person and captured several others, the resident told AFP on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.
“During the operation, they called on residents to stay indoors with loudspeakers,” says the resident.
The resident said the victim is a little-known displaced person from Hassakeh province, whom he named Abu Hayel.
Washington is part of a US-led coalition fighting ISIS in Syria.
In July, the Pentagon said it had killed the Syrian IS jihadist in a drone strike in the north of the country.
CENTCOM said he was generally “one of the top five” leaders of the Islamic State.
The July strike came five months after an overnight US raid on the city of Atme that led to the death of Islamic State general leader Abu Ibrahim al-Qurashi.
US officials said Qurashi died when he detonated a bomb to avoid capture.
After losing their last territory in March 2019 in a military strike supported by the US-led coalition, the remnants of IS in Syria largely retreated to desert shelters.
Since then, they have used such hideouts to ambush Kurdish-led and Syrian government forces as they continue to mount attacks in Iraq.