WASHINGTON – American forces killed two ISIS 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 Syria Province official” who helped plot and facilitate the terrorist group’s deadly attacks in the region, according to CENTCOM.
“Extensive planning went into this unilateral operation to ensure its success,” the command said in a statement Monday. “Initial assessments indicate no civilians were killed or injured.”
Though ISIS lost its stronghold over large swaths of Syria and Iraq in 2019, its sleeper cells have continued carrying out bloody attacks in both countries.
“ISIS continues to represent a threat to the security and stability of the region,” CENTCOM spokesman Joe Buccino said. “This operation reaffirms CENTCOM’s steadfast commitment to ensuring the group’s enduring defeat.”
The US has been cracking 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 from ISIS in partnership with local forces,” CENTCOM said. “ISIS continues to pursue an aggressive operational agenda, including external attacks that threaten US allies and partners in the region and beyond.”
The elite American troops started the year with a February raid targeting ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, who blew himself rather than face capture.
In July, an American drone strike killed Maher al-Agal, then the leader of ISIS in Syria. Most recently, US forces killed ISIS weapons smuggler Rakkan Wahid al-Shammri in an Oct. 5 raid in northeastern Syria.
“The death of these ISIS officials will disrupt the terrorist organization’s ability to further plot and carry out destabilizing attacks in the Middle East,” Buccino said.