Four U.S. troops were wounded and a senior Islamic State leader was killed during a Thursday night helicopter raid in northeastern Syria, the Pentagon said Friday, marking the American military’s latest counterterrorism operation in the war-torn country.
Officials said ISIS figure Hamza al-Homsi died in the raid. The details around the U.S. injuries, including to a military service dog, were not immediately clear Friday.
“Last night, during a partnered U.S. and Syrian Democratic Forces helicopter raid in northeastern Syria, an explosion on target resulted in four U.S. service members and one working dog wounded,” U.S. Central Command said in a statement. “The targeted ISIS senior leader, Hamza al-Homsi, was killed. The U.S. service members and working dog are receiving treatment in a U.S. medical facility in Iraq.”
The U.S. regularly conducts such raids inside Syria, which is home to remnants of the once-mighty Islamic State terror network. In December, for example, a helicopter raid in eastern Syria resulted in the death of an ISIS figure named Anas, who Pentagon officials said was deeply “involved in the group’s deadly plotting and facilitation operations in eastern Syria.”
Last October, U.S. troops carried out two high-stakes missions targeting ISIS fighters. The first, a helicopter raid outside the northeastern Syrian village of Qamishli, led to the death of Rakkan Wahid al-Shammri. The Pentagon said he was a pivotal figure in the smuggling of weapons and fresh fighters to ISIS pockets in the area.
The same week, U.S. airstrikes in northern Syria killed ISIS official Abu-Hashum al-Umawi and another Islamic State figure, the Pentagon said.
The U.S. also has carried out numerous airstrikes against Iranian-linked militias operating in Syria that have repeatedly targeted American troops stationed in Syria and neighboring Iraq.