SOHR: US-led military coalition captures senior IS leader in northern Syria
A US-led military coalition says it has captured a senior leader of the so-called Islamic State (IS) group in northern Syria.
Forces were able to carry out a “successful” military operation in the northern province of Aleppo, the coalition said on Thursday.
No civilians were harmed in the operation and there were no injuries to the coalition forces, it added.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the operation began with two helicopters landing near the targeted area in the village of al-Humaira, about 4 kilometres from the Turkish border.
Three Iraqi intelligence officials told The Associated Press that the captured man is a Syrian national, Ahmad Hani al-Kurdi.
He is reported to have through risen extremist militant ranks to become one of the most senior and dangerous IS leaders. The US-led coalition has described the suspected leader as an experienced bomb maker and operational facilitator.
The US-backed forces had declared victory over the extremist group in March 2019 after retaking the last territory held by IS in Syria.
But the militants continue to operate and carry out deadly attacks in both Iraq and Syria through sleeper cells and the group also maintains several affiliates in various countries.
In February, the leader of IS Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi died along with members of his family as American forces raided his Syria hideout.
His predecessor, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, had died along with his family in 2019 after detonating a suicide vest in a tunnel in northwest Syria amid another military operation unfolded during Donald Trump’s US administration.