CENTCOM identified one of the two ISIS operatives killed in the raid, Anas, a person it describes as “an ISIS Syria Province official who was involved in the group’s deadly plotting and facilitation operations in eastern Syria.”
The initial assessments were that no civilians were injured or killed in the raid that required “extensive planning,” which took place at 2:57 a.m. local time, CENTCOM’s statement added.
“ISIS continues to represent a threat to the security and stability of the region. This operation reaffirms CENTCOM’s steadfast commitment to ensuring the group’s enduring defeat,” said Joe Buccino, a CENTCOM spokesman. “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.”
This weekend’s raid was the first major American counterterrorism operation in northeastern Syria since early October. The operation targeted Rakkan Wahid al Shammri, whom Buccino described at the time as “an ISIS official known to facilitate the smuggling of weapons and fighters to support ISIS operations.”
Late last month, ISIS announced the killing of its leader in combat, Abu Hasan al Hashimi al Qurashi. The group identified Abu al Hussein al Husseini al Qurashi as its new leader.
U.S. officials denied involvement but welcomed the news nonetheless.
“We have seen that announcement. We certainly welcome the news of the death of another ISIS leader,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters at the time. “I don’t have any additional operational details to provide at this time. We’re still working our way through that.”
Abu Hasan assumed leadership of the group following the death of his predecessor, Abu Ibrahim al Qurayshi, who was killed during a U.S. raid last February in northwest Syria.