A helicopter raid by United States forces in northern Syria early Monday resulted in the probable death of a senior Islamic State (ISIS) leader who was responsible for planning attacks in the Middle East and Europe, US Central Command (CENTCOM) announced.
“Though degraded, ISIS remains able to conduct operations within the region with a desire to strike beyond the Middle East,” said CENTCOM commander General Michael “Erik” Kurilla, who added, “We will continue the relentless campaign against ISIS.”
Local media reported that the raid was carried out on the Turkish border, in Jarablus (Cerablûs), an area controlled by Turkish-backed paramilitary groups.
US forces and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) conduct joint operations against ISIS cells in the region in order to ensure the lasting defeat of ISIS.
However, Turkey’s offensives on Kurdish areas in Syria, in addition to causing a state of instability in the region, give ISIS opportunities to resurge, SDF Press Centre recently warned, adding that regions under the control of Turkish forces and allied Syrian rebel groups have become safe havens for ISIS cells.
Turkey has been stepping up its attacks. On Sunday, Turkish Armed Forces shelled several areas and villages in and around northern Syria’s Aleppo.
The shelled area is inhabited by Kurds displaced from Afrin (Efrîn), a Kurdish city in northern Syria which Turkey seized control of in 2018 in a military operation with allied groups.
ISIS has been carrying out resurgence attempts in attacks targeting civilians as well as security forces in central, northeastern and western areas of Syria.
The Islamic group’s latest attack on Sunday killed 26 citizens as they hunted truffles in the eastern countryside of Hama, central west Syria.