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Friday, Aug 12, 2022

US-led coalition captures senior IS leader in north Syria raid

US-led coalition captures senior IS leader in north Syria raid

US-led coalition forces say they captured a senior leader of the so-called Islamic State (IS) militant group in an overnight raid in northern Syria.
The coalition statement said the mission was "meticulously planned to minimize the risk of collateral damage or civilian harm".

"The operation was successful; no civilians were harmed nor were there injuries to coalition forces or damage to coalition aircraft or assets."

The Washington Post cited US officials as saying the captured IS leader was Ahmed Kurdi and that he was also known as the "wali", or governor, of Raqqa.

Raqqa is a city east of Aleppo that was the de facto capital of the "caliphate" proclaimed by IS in 2014, after it seized large swathes of Syria and Iraq and imposed its brutal rule on millions of people.

The group was driven from its last piece of territory in 2019 by the coalition and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces militia alliance, but the UN estimates it still has between 6,000 and 10,000 fighters in Syria and Iraq who continue to carry out hit-and-run attacks, ambushes and roadside bombings.

In February, US special forces carried out a similar operation in opposition-held Idlib province during which the then-overall leader of IS, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, died.

Qurayshi, whose real name Amir al-Mawla, detonated a bomb inside his hideout, killing himself and members of his family.

IS subsequently named Abu al-Hassan al-Hashemi al-Qurayshi as his successor, without providing any further details about his identity.
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