Four US servicemen were injured in an explosion during a helicopter strike in northeastern Syria on Thursday night. A senior ISIS leader was killed during the mission, officials said.
NOTE: The video in the media player is taken from a previous report.
A senior ISIS leader was killed during the mission, officials said.
“Last night during a joint raid by US and Syrian Democratic Forces helicopters in northeastern Syria, an explosion on a target injured four US servicemen and one working dog,” the US Central Command said in a statement.
“American servicemen and a working dog are being treated at a US medical facility in Iraq,” the message reads.
The ISIS leader who was targeted in the raid and who was killed was identified as Hamza al-Homsi.
MORE: US military ground raid in Syria captures senior ISIS leader, described as ‘experienced bomb maker’
A US official said the four wounded soldiers were part of US special operations forces targeting al-Homsi.
According to an American official, three servicemen are in stable condition, and the fourth has already returned to duty.
According to the official, the condition of the working dog is also assessed as stable.
About 900 US troops are operating in northeastern Syria in areas controlled by Syrian Kurdish forces known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, and about 2,500 US troops are still in Iraq.
The U.S. military mission in both countries continues to work with local forces to counter the ongoing threat posed by the Islamic State (ISIS) and prevent the group’s resurgence.
The terrorist group suffered a military defeat in Syria in 2019, and since then its leaders have been in hiding to avoid being targeted by US forces.
US-backed Syrian forces have declared victory over the Islamic State.
However, ISIS militants maintain a low-level insurgency in Iraq and Syria, and the group continues to inspire supporters in the West to carry out violent attacks.
In January, ISIS launched its biggest operation since its military defeat, when hundreds of ISIS fighters attempted to free thousands of terrorists held in a prison in Hasakah, northeastern Syria.
After 10 days of heavy fighting, US-backed Syrian Kurdish forces were able to retake the prison, although several hundred IS prisoners are believed to have escaped.
Kurdish forces said 374 ISIS fighters were killed in an attempted prison break.
But the group’s operations in Syria suffered a major blow a month later, in February 2022, when the group’s top leader, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi, aka Haji Abdullah, was killed in a raid in northwestern Syria by US special operations forces. .
The ISIS leader was killed when he blew up a suicide bomber’s vest, killing him and other family members as US troops approached.
Just a few months later in May, his successor, Maher al-Aghal, was killed in a drone strike in northwestern Syria.
US special operations forces routinely carry out high-risk missions in Syria targeting ISIS leaders to gather more intelligence on the group’s operations.
This includes areas in far northwestern Syria not controlled by the Syrian government, where ISIS leaders have sought refuge.
In addition to ISIS, U.S. forces in Syria also face threats from Iran-backed groups that have launched missile and drone strikes on U.S. bases.
Earlier this week, U.S. forces shot down an Iranian drone that was attempting to conduct reconnaissance over a U.S. patrol base in northeastern Syria.”
Copyright © 2023 ABC News Internet Ventures.