One day after a US raid killed an ISIS smuggler, US forces reportedly killed two top ISIS leaders in an airstrike in northern Syria on Thursday, according to two defense officials.
According to the officials, the attack killed Abu ‘Ala, one of the top five ISIS leaders and the deputy leader of ISIS in Syria, in addition to Abu Mu’Ad al-Qahtani, an ISIS official in charge of prisoner issues. In Syria, the strike was carried out around 6:23 p.m. local time.
During the operation, no US personnel were hurt or killed and the strike did not cause any damage to or loss of US property.
In order to reduce the danger of collateral damage, US Central Command soldiers in the area spent more than 1,000 hours gathering intelligence on the targets, the sources said.
According to an initial assessment, no civilians were killed or injured, the officials added.
The airstrike comes after a separate US military operation in northeast Syria on Wednesday night local time resulted in the death of an ISIS weapons smuggler, according to a statement released by the Pentagon on Thursday.
Even though the terror organization has been diminished to a small portion of what it once was, the US has continued to pursue ISIS leadership in Syria. The simultaneous raid and attack within such a short period of time indicate an escalation in the tempo of operations against the terror organization and highlight the US commitment to preventing ISIS from gaining stronger.
Last night, ISIS official Rakkan Wahid al-Shammri was the target of a helicopter raid by U.S. Central Command forces in northeastern Syria, close to the village of Qamishli. Al-Shammri is known to enable the smuggling of men and weapons to support ISIS operations. The targeted person was killed during the operation, and one of his companions was hurt, according to a US Central Command statement on the raid.
US forces conducted rare operation in government-held area of Syria, with a war monitor reporting that several people captured https://t.co/nDu7kfflhn
— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) October 6, 2022
No US military personnel or civilians were killed or hurt during that operation, according to CENTCOM.
The weapons the target transported were used to support ISIS operations, according to three defense officials who spoke to CNN.
- According to one of the defense sources, the raid was conducted solely by the US and was not supported by the coalition fighting ISIS. US special operations personnel used helicopters in the operation.
- According to one official, due to the location of the raid and the sensitivity of the operation, the deconfliction line was not used to alert Russia in advance of the operation.
Col. Joe Buccino, a CENTCOM spokesman, declared in a statement that “USCENTCOM is committed to our partners and allies in the enduring defeat of ISIS.”
The Pentagon earlier on Thursday failed to provide any additional information while claiming that a senior ISIS official had been struck. Syrian state television claimed on Telegram that a US operation in northeastern Syria claimed the life of one person and “kidnapped” multiple others. This year in Syria, the US has targeted several top ISIS figures.
ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi was killed in a US operation in northwest Syria in February after detonating himself. The 2019 operation that resulted in the death of the previous ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was the biggest US raid in Syria.
At the same time that ISIS declared Baghdadi dead in November 2019, Qurayshi was appointed the terrorist organization’s commander.
Officials claim that the US was aware of his whereabouts for some months prior to the raid. He and his family were confined to the third story of a building, where he was in charge of organizing a network of couriers to carry out the terror group’s business. The raid also claimed the life of his deputy, who resided on the second level.
ISIS declared that Abu al-Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi has been the organization’s commander since March, but it is believed that this is a fictitious name.
A few months after the Qurayshi raid, Hani Ahmed al-Kurdi also known as Salim was captured by the US-led joint task force battling ISIS in Syria. Maher al-Agal, the head of ISIS in Syria, was also killed in a drone strike by the US in northwest Syria in July.
The military operations in Syria take place as the Biden administration tries to refocus the military on what it sees as the challenges of the future, including an assertive China and a Russia that is willing to use force against its neighbors, rather than the Middle East and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The group has continuously attempted to regroup after the self-declared ISIS caliphate was overthrown in 2019 and has been opposing the US-led coalition’s efforts to fight ISIS. These operations have included numerous attempts to attack the 60,000-person al-Hol camp in Syria. The displaced person settlement is seen as a recruiting location by ISIS.
According to US Central Command, ISIS attempted to carry out a suicide attack against the camp last month by equipping two vehicles with explosives. The Syrian Democratic Forces, who are linked with the US, stopped the other vehicle, which exploded prematurely.
US strikes twice in #Syria
3 #ISIS officials – including one of the terror group’s top 5 – killed
“We’re going to go where we need to go if there’s a threat that presents itself”https://t.co/1qOeSkOlAg
— Jeff Seldin (@jseldin) October 7, 2022
Officials claim that US special operations soldiers killed IS rebel Rakkan Wahid al Shamman wounded another and captured two more during a raid in the village of Qamishli.
- According to authorities, the U.S. carried out an airstrike in northern Syria later on Thursday, killing Abu Ala, the second-in-command of the Islamic State in Syria, and Abu Mu’ad al Qahtani.
- According to a U.S. official, the ground raid was carried out by a small contingent of American soldiers who were stationed nearby Qamishli for less than an hour. The United States rarely conducts missions on the ground governed by Syrian President Bashar Assad. The officials discussed specifics of the raid under the condition of anonymity.
U.S. Central Command claimed in a statement that al Shamman was well known for facilitating the passage of militants and weapons to support Islamic State operations. The statement claims that neither civilians nor American soldiers were killed or hurt during the attack.
The Airstrike’s Further Details Were Not Disclosed
About 900 American troops are still stationed in Syria to advise and support the Syrian Democratic Forces in their conflict with the Islamic State group.
For the first time in a long time, according to a U.S. official the U.S. did not inform Russia of the operation and presence of its troops using their deconfliction phone line. The officer, who requested anonymity in order to discuss specifics, claimed that operational security issues rather than Russia’s attack on Ukraine were to blame for the absence of deconfliction.
When American forces are in the northeastern part of Syria, where Russian forces also operate, the U.S. and Russia have used the deconfliction line to prevent any potential accidents or problems.
US Launches Two Strikes Against IS Leadership in a Day
Three important officials were targeted by American forces in two missions in northern Syria in the course of a single day, dealing fresh blows to the already vulnerable and fearful Islamic State terror organization.
The first operation was verified by the United States, which said that American special forces had carried out a helicopter raid early on Thursday near the village of Qamishli in a region under the control of forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The target of the operation, Rakkan Wahid al-Shammri, was killed, according to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), which is in charge of American forces in Syria and other parts of the Middle East. One of his associates was also hurt. Two more accomplices were apprehended.
Al-Shammri was identified by U.S. military and intelligence officials as a longtime IS operator who was instrumental in importing militants and weapons to support the terror group’s activities.
The early-morning U.S. raid, according to activists with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in London, took place in the town of Moluk Saray, about 17 kilometres south of Qamishli, and the target was murdered for refusing to surrender.
The two individuals detained were also named by the activists as being of Iraqi descent and being in charge of a “military security faction.”
“Last night, CENTCOM forces conducted a raid in northeast Syria targeting a senior ISIS official” per Col. Joe Buccino “We will release more information once we are able to confirm operational details”
— Jeff Seldin (@jseldin) October 6, 2022
VOA Was Unable To Independently Verify The Activists’ Assertions
Later on Thursday, the U.S. military dealt what might have been an even larger blow when it launched a precise attack in northern Syria shortly after 6 p.m. local time, killing two more senior IS figures.
- According to a statement sent to VOA by CENTCOM, the attack killed Abu ‘Ala, the deputy head of ISIS in Syria and one of the terrorist organization’s “top five,” who was slain. Abu Mu’Ad al-Qahtani, a second IS official who was allegedly in charge of prisoner relations, was also executed.
- According to CENTCOM officials was the result of “more than 1,000 hours of information collecting to each of the two targets,” and preliminary reports indicated no civilian casualties.
Following comments from one of the senior U.S. counterterrorism officials that IS has been locked in “survival mode” and is currently unable to withstand relentless counterterrorism pressure from the United States, the United States launched strikes against IS.
Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Christine Abizaid stated last month that the terrorist organization is “no longer trying to attack the United States,” citing a string of arrests and decapitation attacks that began with the February raid that resulted in the death of former IS emir Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, also known as Hajji Abdallah.
The United States performs back-to-back raids in Syria, killing important ISIS members.
On Thursday, the American military declared that it had carried out two attacks in Syria within a day of one another, killing two important ISIS targets and their allies. U.S. Central Command reported that on Thursday.
American troops carried out an attack in northern Syria that killed Abu-Hashum al-Umawi, a deputy wali, or governor, as well as “another top ISIS figure linked with him,” though the military did not provide further details. Army Gen.
Michael Erik Kurilla, who is in charge of U.S. Central Command, said in a statement announcing the attack and al-demise Umawi’s that “this strike will weaken ISIS’s ability to destabilise the region and strike at our forces and partners.” “Our soldiers are still there in the area to secure the long-term destruction of ISIS.”
Following a helicopter raid on Rakkan Wahid al-Shammri and one other associate in northeastern Syria, close to the village of Qamishli, on Wednesday night, the operation against al-Umawi was launched.
About The AlShammri Smuggler Who Brings Weapons, Fighters And Money For Terrorists!
According to a person familiar with the operation who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the specifics of the raid and its target, AlShammri was an ISIS smuggler who was known to bring in weapons, fighters, and money to support the terrorist organization, which had also beheaded two members of the Syrian Defense Forces.
The raids are the most recent in a string of recent operations meant to assassinate important ISIS members. The “Wali of Raqqa,” a prominent ISIS bombmaker, Hani Ahmed al-Kurdi, was assassinated by American military personnel over the summer.
That came after the assassination of al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, the ISIS leader at the time, who is thought to have set up explosives in his bunker in Atma, Syria, when the building was invaded. After UNICEF and local witnesses reported at least five children killed, the Qurayshi operation was embroiled in a larger debate about whether the American military had taken sufficient precautions to safeguard the safety of civilians.
Following that attack, U.S. personnel have taken pains to emphasize that successful assaults against ISIS targets have not resulted in the harm or death of civilians. The assurance with which U.S. Central Command declared the most recent ISIS raids had avoided harming civilians, however, changed slightly between its releases on Thursday.
The news release detailing the execution of al-Shammri stated that “no U.S. forces were hurt or killed during the operation, no civilians were killed or wounded, and there was no loss or damage to U.S. equipment.”
A U.S. official said a small number of U.S. troops were on the ground near the village of Qamishli for less than an hour to conduct the raid. https://t.co/3dLb948MZD
— James Pindell (@JamesPindell) October 6, 2022
While the status report on civilians was confident in stating that there had been no injuries among American personnel and no damage to American property, it was less so when announcing al-demise. Umawi’s Initial evaluations suggest no civilians were killed or hurt during this operation, according to the release.
Additional reporting has been added to this story.