Four US special operators and a military working dog were hurt on a raid that killed an ISIS leader in northern Syria. US Air Force photo by Senior Airman Chris Willis.
Four US service members and one working dog were injured Thursday night during a raid in northeastern Syria that killed a senior ISIS leader, US officials said Friday afternoon, though few details of the incident were available.
The joint US-Syrian force killed Hamza al-Homsi, whom US Central Command officials described as a senior ISIS official who “oversaw” the Islamic State group’s network in eastern Syria.
The four US personnel and the working dog were injured by an explosion during the raid. A second statement from Central Command officials said that al-Homsi triggered the explosion.
The mission is the latest in an increasingly active combat zone for Americans. According to a CENTCOM release, US forces conducted 43 operations aimed at the group in January in Iraq and Syria.
“While our efforts have degraded ISIS, the group’s vile ideology remains uncontained and unconstrained,” said Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla, CENTCOM commander.
In January, CENTCOM said, 33 raids in Iraq detained 29 and killed nine. Raids in Syria detained 198 and killed two.
No US or partner forces were wounded or killed in those raids.
US forces carried out 43 operations against ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria in January 2023. US Army photo by Staff Sgt. Marcus Fichtl.
All the raids, CENTCOM said, were carried out by US troops with partner forces. In Syria, US forces operate with Syrian Democratic Forces, the standing army of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, in operations against ISIS and other militant groups the US considers to be terrorists.
“We rely heavily on the Syrian Democratic Forces for the fight against ISIS,” Kurilla said. “Meanwhile, our Iraqi Security Forces have been aggressively taking the fight to ISIS in Iraq.”
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Matt White is a former senior editor for Coffee or Die Magazine. He was a pararescueman in the Air Force and the Alaska Air National Guard for eight years and has more than a decade of experience in daily and magazine journalism.
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