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Sunday, June 26, 2022

US Nabs Rising Islamic State Officials in Syria Raid

US helicopters infiltrated the northwestern Syrian countryside near the city of Jarablus under cover of darkness and, despite reports of heavy gunfire, have again detained a rising Islamic State leader, in a fresh blow against the terrorist organization. Flew.

US military and counter-terrorism officials are hesitant to share many details of Thursday morning’s raid, which resulted in the capture of Hani Ahmed al-Kurdi, described as one of the group’s more senior leaders and It was critical of its recent exploits in Syria.

“The mission to capture al-Kurdi was carefully planned to minimize the risk of civilian casualties or collateral damage,” the US-led coalition to defeat IS said in a statement.

“The successful mission avoided any damage to civilians or civilian infrastructure and there was no damage to Coalition aircraft or property,” the statement said.

Separately, a US official, speaking to the VOA on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence, confirmed that none of the US forces involved in the raid were hurt.

As for al-Kurdi, the official described the former bomb maker as an “operational facilitator” who had risen through the ranks to become a key planner behind the terrorist group’s Syrian operations.

A statement from the coalition called al-Qurdi “responsible for coordinating terrorist activities throughout the region … and for facilitating attacks on US and allied forces”.

While al-Kurdi may not be as well-known as other IS officials and ideologues, his name is familiar to analysts who study IS, some of whom have told the VOA that his capture is a reflection of IS’s plans for Syria and perhaps its future. would be a blow. ,

Colin Clark, research director at global intelligence firm The Soufan Group, said using a different acronym, “To completely eliminate an organization like ISIS, it is important to identify and arrest individuals like al-Kurdi, because His expertise is as a bomb maker.” for terrorist group.

“Someone with these types of skills participates in silent knowledge transfer, passing these skills on to others within the organization,” Clark said. “Practically, taking someone off the battlefield like this is a really big deal.”

In the immediate aftermath of the US raid, IS social media accounts tried to downplay the importance.

Chatter, tracked by Jihadoscope, a company that tracks Islamic extremists’ online activity, found that IS-linked accounts immediately described the raid as a failed operation, arguing that a US helicopter had been damaged.

US officials have dismissed such claims, but war watchers on the ground in Syria say IS may have escaped another major setback.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Thursday that the area targeted by US forces was home to many high-ranking IS officers and fighters, but several were able to flee and hide after receiving reports of US aircraft arriving. were capable.

The observatory also said that in addition to al-Kurdi, US forces captured two of his IS escorts – a claim not confirmed by US officials.

Thursday’s raid near Jarablus is the latest in a series of IS retaliatory operations to focus on northwestern Syria.

In February US special forces landed as part of an operation on Atmeh, a city in Idlib province, northwestern Syria, that led to the death of then-leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurshi.

IS’s first leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed in October 2019 following a US raid in northwestern Syria, and intelligence from several countries, including the US, has suggested that IS remnants have long been operating the region. Due to the presence of many other terrorist organizations, it is seen as a relatively safe base of the

But there are signs that IS operatives and fighters in northwestern Syria are coming under increasing pressure, including from other terror groups in the region.

On Tuesday, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a terrorist group that evolved from the former Jabat al-Nusra affiliated with al-Qaeda, announced that it had launched an operation against IS in the Idlib region.

“Officials and politicians are also among those arrested… [who] HTS said in a statement translated by the Site Intelligence Group, “With sensitive positions in the province, safety of roads and supplies is of paramount importance.”

Other IS cells in Syria and Iraq are also feeling squeezed.

Both the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces and Iraqi counter-terrorism forces have claimed several major successes in operations targeting regional IS leaders and cells.

“It is one thing to take out the top guys. It’s another thing to start taking a dig at those working on issues close to the grassroots and strategic functions, said Aaron Zelin, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy specializing in jihadism.

“It could portray more operations depending on what type of intelligence that leads to second-level leadership,” he told VOA.

Turkey may have dealt a major blow against IS late last month, claiming an operation in Istanbul resulted in the capture of the new IS leader, known as Abu al-Hasan al-Hashimi al-Kurshi. Is known.

The US and other Western counter-terrorism officials have so far refused to confirm the identity of the IS officer in Turkish custody. Sources with knowledge of the arrest, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case, told the VOA that the person detained could be a key IS official.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Deskhttps://worldnationnews.com/
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