Syrian Kurdish forces arrest ISIS commander, dozens of extremists in eastern region
Syrian Kurdish-led forces captured a local commander of ISIS in eastern Syria as part of an ongoing operation targeting sleeper cells in the city of Raqqa, the US-backed forces announced Thursday.
The commander served as the chief of the extremist group’s faction for Raqqa and was among the 68 militants detained in the operation, the Syrian Democratic Forces said.
The operation started earlier this week, in response to a December attack by ISIS that targeted military and security buildings in Raqqa and killed at least six Syrian Kurdish fighters. A Kurdish commander, Mazloum Abdi, said they had indications of “serious preparations" by ISIS for attacks.
For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based opposition war monitor, said ISIS militants also targeted a military intelligence prison holding some 200 militants in the December attack.
ISIS lost all territorial control in Iraq and Syria in 2019, following a yearslong US-backed campaign that defeated the so-called “caliphate,” where Raqqa was once the ISIS de facto capital.
However, militant sleeper cells persist and have since killed scores of Iraqis and Syrians. Syrian Kurdish and US forces frequently conduct raids targeting ISIS sleeper cells in northern and eastern Syria.
The captured ISIS commander was identified as Atallah al-Maythan. Syrian Kurdish forces said he headed the militant group’s operations across Raqqa province, and allegedly “confessed to his involvement in planning and leading terrorist acts,” extorted money from residents in the area and kept ISIS sleeper cells in contact.
Some 5,000 Syrian Kurdish-led fighters are involved in the operation, and have already raided some 80 locations, their spokesperson, Farhad Shami, told The Associated Press. The US-led coalition was providing air support, reconnaissance, and gathering intelligence, Shami added.
This is the second recent operation by the US -backed forces in Syria. In late December, the Syrian Kurdish-led fighters targeted ISIS cells in al-Hol and Tal Hamis, following a surge in militant attacks.
The US Central Command said that 215 militants from ISIS were arrested last year and 466 were killed in Syria. There are roughly 900 US troops in Syria.
Canada will repatriate 23 citizens from Syria
Dutch arrest alleged ISIS security official: Prosecutors
Iraq to hang 14 people for ISIS massacre of hundreds of army cadets in 2014
UN: Al-Qaeda and ISIS terrorist groups driving insecurity in MaliAl-Qaeda and ISIS terrorist groups are driving insecurity in central Mali and continue to clash near populated areas in the northern Gao and Menaka ... World News
ISIS claims responsibility for Kabul attack that left five deadISIS claimed responsibility Thursday for a deadly bombing that killed at least five people near the Foreign Ministry in the Afghan capital the ... World News
Two killed, several wounded in knife attack on train in GermanyTwo people were killed and several others wounded in a knife attack on a regional train in northern Germany Wednesday, police said, announcing that ... World News