Syria drone strike kills suspected ISIS member

Attack comes days after US forces launch raids to target ISIS officials

US soldiers on patrol in Syria. A drone strike in the north of the country killed a suspected ISIS member on Monday, a war monitor said. AFP
Powered by automated translation

A drone strike in northern Syria killed a suspected ISIS member on Monday, a war monitor and an AFP reporter have said.

The attack came days after US forces said they had targeted ISIS officials in a series of raids in the country.

Two explosions hit near the Turkish-held border-town of Tal Abyad in northern Syria, residents and the reporter said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a drone strike had targeted a suspected member of the group, who was killed while on a motorbike.

"I heard aircraft and then a first strike followed by a second one less than a minute later," resident Ismail Al Barho told AFP.

"I came to the site of the strikes and found a charred body."

He said a civilian was also wounded.

Another resident identified the dead man as Ammar Al Yehya Ibn Ali, a 35-year-old Syrian known to have been a former member of ISIS.

The resident spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Monday's strike came after the US Central Command (Centcom) said it had carried out a raid in north-east Syria on Thursday, targeting an ISIS official known to be involved in the smuggling of weapons and fighters.

It said later the same day it had launched another air strike that killed two senior ISIS members.

Hiding out

Washington first deployed troops in north-east Syria in 2014 as part of a coalition to combat the ISIS.

When they terrorist group lost the last territory they controlled after a military onslaught backed by the US-led coalition in March 2019, the remnants of ISIS in Syria retreated mostly into desert hideouts.

They have since used these hideouts to ambush Kurdish-led forces and Syrian government troops, while also continuing to mount attacks in Iraq.

In July, the Pentagon said it had killed Syria's top ISIS member in a drone strike in the north of the country. Centcom said he had been "one of the top five" ISIS leaders.

That attack came five months after a night raid by the US on the town of Atme, which led to the death of ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim Al Hashimi Al Qurashi.

US officials said Al Qurashi, his wife and two children were all killed when he detonated a bomb to avoid capture.

Updated: October 10, 2022, 2:31 PM