US raid in Syria kills Islamic State weapons smuggler

AP , Thursday 6 Oct 2022

U.S. special operations forces conducted a raid in northeast Syria overnight, killing an Islamic State insurgent who was involved in smuggling weapons and fighters, U.S. officials said Thursday.

Hasakeh province, Syria
A US AH-64 Apache attack helicopter flies above US soldiers patrolling along the frontlines between areas held by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Turkish-backed fighters near the village of Dardara in the countryside of Tal Tamr in Syria s northeastern Hasakeh province, on December 26, 2021. AFP

 

A U.S. official said a small number of U.S. troops were on the ground near the village of Qamishli for less than an hour to conduct the raid. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details of the raid.

In a statement, U.S. Central Command said the helicopter raid targeted Rakkan Wahid al Shamman, who was known to facilitate the smuggling in support of IS operations. The statement said he was killed in the raid, and one IS insurgent was wounded and two others were captured and detained.

According to the statement, no civilians or U.S. troops or were killed or injured in the raid.

The U.S. continues to have about 900 forces in Syria to advise and assist Syrian Democratic Forces in the fight against the Islamic State group.

One U.S. official said that, for the first time in a long time, the U.S. did not use its deconfliction phone line with Russia to notify them of the U.S. troop raid and presence there.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to provide details, said the lack of deconfliction was more the result of operational security and not a reaction to Russia's war on Ukraine.

The U.S. and Russia have used the deconfliction line to avoid any possible accidents or incidents when U.S. forces are in the northeastern region of Syria where Russian forces also operate.

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