Middle East

US kills two ISIS officials in helicopter raid in eastern Syria, US Central Command says

By Oren Liebermann and Barbara Starr, CNN

CNN  —  The US killed two ISIS officials in a helicopter raid early Sunday morning in eastern Syria, US Central Command said in a statement.

The raid was a unilateral US operation with “extensive planning,” CENTCOM said, and the initial assessment was that no civilians were killed or injured.

One of the officials killed was “Anas,” a regional ISIS leader who was involved in planning operations in eastern 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,” said Central Command spokesman Col. Joe Buccino.

The US insisted it was committed to the campaign to defeat ISIS “in partnership with local forces,” even as recent Turkish operations in northern Syria targeting Kurdish forces have put US personnel at risk and have threatened to destabilize the situation in Syria.

Two weeks ago, the US welcomed news of the death of ISIS leader Abu al-Hasan al-Hashimi al- Qurayshi. He was not killed in a US operation, unlike the previous leader, Hajji Abdullah, who was killed in a US raid in February.

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