US-led coalition detains ISIS leader in Syria

Captive was 'an experienced bomb maker who became one of the group's top leaders in the country'

A US army Chinook helicopter lands on March 1 in Kazlu Ruda, Lithuania. Getty
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The US-led coalition forces said they detained a senior ISIS leader on Thursday during an operation in Syria.

"The detained individual was assessed to be an experienced bomb maker and facilitator who became one of the group’s top leaders in Syria," the coalition said.

It said no civilians were harmed during the operation and no aircraft was damaged.

The coalition carried out an early-morning mission in a part of northern Syria held by Turkish-backed rebels, a spokesman for the rebel group told Reuters.

The spokesman said it was the first raid of its kind in the area.

Maj Youssef Hamoud, a spokesman for the Turkey-backed Syrian National Army, told Reuters that the operation took place near the village of Al Humaira, a few kilometres from the Turkish border, and that US-made Chinook and Black Hawk helicopters were involved

"This is the first [US] helicopter landing operation to happen" in areas under the SNA's control, he said.

The SNA includes groups that fought against Syrian government forces during the country's 11-year civil war. It is a rival of other armed groups including ISIS.

A source in touch with rebels in the area said clashes erupted during the operation.

US-led forces have carried out helicopter operations and drone strikes in areas of northern Syria controlled by US-backed Kurdish forces.

US special forces in February launched a similar operation to the west in Syria's Idlib province, which is controlled by Hayat Tahrir Al Sham.

That mission led to the death of ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim Al Quraishi.

Updated: June 16, 2022, 11:28 PM
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