SOHR: US airborne raid nets top IS operative in Syria • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

SOHR: US airborne raid nets top IS operative in Syria

US coalition forces said they captured a senior Islamic State group bomb maker in an airborne operation before dawn Thursday in northern Syria.

A war monitor and AFP correspondents said military helicopters touched down for only a few minutes in a village in an area controlled by Turkish-backed rebel groups. The US-led coalition dedicated to battling the militant group in the region did not name the target.

“The captured individual is an experienced bomb maker and operational facilitator who became one of the top leaders of Daesh’s Syrian branch,” it said, using another name for IS. Such operations by US forces are rare in areas of northwestern Syria that are under the control of Turkish-backed rebels and non-IS militant groups.

The latest previously was a raid in early February that led to the death of the group’s leader Abu Ibrahim al-Qurashi, who detonated a bomb vest to avoid capture. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitoring group with a vast network of sources on the ground, could not confirm the identity of the IS operative captured on Thursday.

Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman told that two helicopters landed in Hmeirah and took off seven minutes later, adding that only a few shots were fired during the operation.

“The US operation was quick and smooth,” he said. “It took place in the village of Hmeirah, northeast of the city of Aleppo and four kilometres (2.5 miles) from the Turkish border.”

The coalition said in its statement that “the mission was meticulously planned to minimise the risk of collateral damage, particularly any potential harm to civilians. “There were no civilians harmed during the operation nor any damage to coalition aircraft or assets.”



Source:  Daily Times