WASHINGTON — US forces killed two Islamic State commanders in a helicopter raid in eastern Syria on Sunday, US Central Command confirmed.
One of the two killed was identified only as Anas, an “ISIS Syrian province official” who helped plan and facilitate the terror group’s deadly attacks in the region, according to CENTCOM.
“Extensive planning was conducted in this unilateral operation to ensure its success,” the command said in a statement Monday. “Initial assessments indicate that no civilians were killed or injured.”
Although ISIS lost its grip on large swaths of Syria and Iraq in 2019, its sleeper cells continued to carry out bloody attacks in both countries.
“The Islamic State continues to pose a threat to the security and stability of the region,” said CENTCOM spokesman Joe Buccino. “This operation reaffirms CENTCOM’s unwavering commitment to ensuring the group’s lasting defeat.”
The United States has cracked down on ISIS in a series of raids this year despite Washington’s reduced footprint in the Middle East after leaving Afghanistan in August 2021.
“The United States remains committed to countering the global threat of Islamic State in partnership with local forces,” CENTCOM said. “ISIS continues to pursue an aggressive operational program, including external attacks that threaten U.S. allies and partners in the region and beyond.”
Elite US troops began the year with a raid in February targeting Islamic State leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, who blew himself up rather than be taken in the face.
In July, a US drone strike killed Maher al-Agal, then leader of the Islamic State in Syria. More recently, US forces killed ISIS arms dealer Rakkan Wahid al-Shammri in an October 5 raid in northeastern Syria.
“The deaths of these ISIS officials will disrupt the terrorist organization’s ability to continue plotting and carrying out destabilizing attacks in the Middle East,” Buccino said.
New York Post