Updated Feb 17, 2023 - World

Senior ISIS leader killed in Syria helicopter raid, U.S. says

A masked Islamic State soldier poses holding the ISIL banner somewhere in the deserts of Iraq or Syria. Photo by: Pictures from History/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A senior ISIS leader was killed in a U.S. helicopter raid in northeastern Syria, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said Friday.

Driving the news: The raid, a partnership with the Syrian Democratic Forces, led to an explosion that killed the target, Hamza al-Homsi, and wounded four U.S. servicemembers and a working dog who are now receiving treatment, according to a statement from CENTCOM.

The big picture: Al-Homsi was one of several senior ISIS officials targeted by the U.S. over the past year.

  • The U.S. notably killed Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi during a military raid in February 2022 and captured a senior leader of the Islamic State militant group in Syria during a U.S.-led coalition raid in June, according to the Pentagon.
  • Senior ISIS leader Maher al-Agal, one of ISIS' top five in charge, was killed in a drone strike conducted by the U.S. military in July.
  • And in October, U.S. forces killed "an ISIS official known to facilitate the smuggling of weapons and fighters to support ISIS operations," per CENTCOM.
  • CENTCOM said in December that American forces and their allies killed a total of 686 ISIS suspects operating in Syria and Iraq in 2022.

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