US military captures 6 ISIS operatives in helicopter raids in Syria

The recent raid was the second such operation in over a week. A helicopter raid by the US military in eastern Syria on December 11 killed a lead ISIS province official and his associate. The raids included US Special Operations forces and personnel from the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Representative image
Representative image

UNITED STATES: The raids, which took place over the past 48 hours in eastern Syria, included the capture of "al-Zubaydi", a senior ISIS official who US officials claim was involved in planning and enabling terrorist attacks in Syria

The US military has captured six Islamic State operatives over the course of three helicopter raids in Syria this week, US Central Command announced, according to a report in The Hill, a Washington, DC-based publication. The same report states that, "The raids, which took place over the past 48 hours in eastern Syria, included the capture of "al-Zubaydi", a senior ISIS official who US officials claim was involved in planning and enabling terrorist attacks in Syria."

The recent raid was the second such operation in over a week. A helicopter raid by the US military in eastern Syria on December 11 killed a lead ISIS province official and his associate. The raids included US Special Operations forces and personnel from the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

"These partnered operations reaffirm CENTCOM's steadfast commitment to the region and the enduring defeat of ISIS. The capture of these ISIS operatives will disrupt the terrorist organization's ability to further the plot and carry out destabilizing attacks," said CENTCOM Commander General Michael "Erik" Kurilla, in a press release, according to The Hill. Initial investments show that no civilians were killed or injured during the raids.

According to The Hill: "This month's raids mark the first major American counterterrorism operation in northeastern Syria since the US military in October conducted two strikes against the terrorist group, killing an ISIS weapons smuggler". Recently, The Islamic State (ISIS) group said that its leader Abu Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi had been killed in battle and announced a replacement.

Hashimi al-Qurashi is said to have been killed, according to the spokesman for the terrorist group, Abu Omar al-Muhajir, reported Danish media TV2 Play. Al-Muhajir, an Iraqi, however, without elaborating on the date of his death or the circumstances said that Al-Hashemi was killed in battle, in a voice message on Telegram.

Speaking in an audio message, the spokesman identified the group's new leader as Abu al-Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurashi. Abu Hasan al-Hashemi al-Qurashi was named in March as the third leader since ISIS was founded. It happened after the extremist group's former leader blew himself up in February to avoid being captured by US soldiers.

Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi was named as Islamic State leader after the death of former leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Baghdadi died during an American commando raid on his compound in northern Syria. Baghdadi's death marked the end of a years-long hunt to find one of the most wanted terrorists in the world.

He had been in hiding for the last five years. In April, a video published by the ISIS media wing al-Furqan showed a man purporting to be Baghdadi. It was the first time he had been seen since July 2014, when he spoke at the Great Mosque in Mosul.

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