US, partner forces capture 2 ISIS militants in eastern Syria, CENTCOM says

Syrian Democratic Force soldiers conduct a patrol during a joint operation with U.S. Army soldiers in Syria on May 8, 2021. (Isaiah J Scott/U.S. Army)

U.S. Central Command forces captured two Islamic State militants during a partnered helicopter and ground assault raid in eastern Syria on Saturday, CENTCOM said in a news release.

One civilian received minor injuries in the raid that led to the capture of Abdallah Hamid Muslih al-Maddad, AKA Abu Hamza al-Suri, an ISIS facilitator; and Husam Hamid al-Muslih al Maddad, al-Khayr, an ISIS facilitator and logistician.

“The injured civilian was escorted by our partner forces to a nearby medical care facility along with an accompanying family member,” CENTCOM spokesman Col. Joe Buccino said in the release. “He received care and was released back to his family.”

ISIS sleeper cells continue to carry out deadly attacks in Syria and Iraq. The militant group once ruled large swaths of both countries but lost its last stronghold in 2019. In late December, U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces announced “Operation Al-Jazeera Thunderbolt,” citing a surge in ISIS attacks, to target sleeper cells in the areas of al-Hol and Tal Hamis in the country’s east, The Associated Press previously reported.

Roughly 900 U.S. troops are deployed to Syria. CENTCOM reported conducting some 313 operations against ISIS in 2022 in Syria and Iraq, mostly in cooperation with the Syrian Democratic Forces forces, The Associated Press reported.

“ISIS represents a threat to our partners, and to the people of Iraq and Syria and beyond,” Buccino said in the release. “Our mission to defeat ISIS alongside our partners continues.

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