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US Raid in Syria Targets Islamic State Fighters

Image: US Raid in Syria Targets Islamic State Fighters

Turkish military vehicles drive in the Syrian rebel-held town of al-Rai, as they head towards the northern Syrian town of al-Bab, Syria on Jan. 9, 2017. (Khalil Ashawi/Reuters)

By    |   Monday, 09 Jan 2017 01:57 PM

A U.S.-led raid in Syria reportedly killed at least 25 jihadist fighters, according to the monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

American officials declined to confirm the details of the reported raid into the Islamic State stronghold, The New York Times reported. The Dier al-Zour province in eastern Syria that borders Iraq has been under the control of the Islamic State.

A expeditionary targeting force, described as commandos from the Joint Special Operations Command who target Islamic State leaders and fighters in Iraq and Syria, carried out the two-hour raid at al-Kubar, the Times said.

The force has been intensifying drone strikes and raids in Syria recently against the ISIS external operations planners, who have inspired, supported, and directed attacks in the West, the newspaper noted.

"Four helicopters from the international coalition yesterday (Sunday) at noon carried out a commando raid on Al-Kubar village in western Deir Ezzor province," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told Agence France-Presse.

A Syrian Democratic Forces commander, a U.S.-supported coalition of Arab and Kurdish forces, confirmed the raid on the village, which is located 25 miles from the province's capital of Deir Ezzor, according to AFP.

The battle killed several senior ISIS fighters traveling from Raqqa while the forces captured others, AFP reported. The Islamic State controls about 60 percent of Deir Ezzor while forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad control the rest, the news agency noted.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced in December that the U.S. was sending 200 more troops to Syria to make a push against the Islamic State's declared capital of Raqqa, according to The Associated Press.

The 200 troops, which included special operations personnel, traveled to Syria in addition to the 300 already there to advise Syrian Arab and Kurdish forces, the AP noted. The troops were involved in recruiting and training along with advising.

"By combining our capabilities with those of our local partners, we've been squeezing ISIL by applying simultaneous pressure from all sides and across domains, through a series of deliberate actions to continue to build momentum," Carter said of the deployment, according to the AP.

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A U.S.-led raid in Syria reportedly killed at least 25 jihadist fighters, according to the monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
us, raid, syria, islamic
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2017-57-09
Monday, 09 Jan 2017 01:57 PM
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