The Pentagon says that a US military mission against ISIS leaders in Syria has been successful and led to the deaths of two ISIS militants.
According to officials, the Army conducted a raid on the ISIS-held territories of eastern Syria on Sunday.
The operation was aimed at capturing suspected ISIS leaders in the city of Deir Ezzor, which is located almost 90 miles southeast of the group’s de facto Syrian headquarters in Raqaa.
“It was focused on ISIL (ISIS) leadership,” said Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis, adding, it was “routine” and “successful.”
“The US, and entire counter-ISIL coalition, will continue to pursue ISIL leaders wherever they are to ensure the security and stability of the region and our homeland,” Davis said on Monday.
According to the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, after 2:30 pm local time on Sunday, six Apache helicopters flew over the desert areas near the village of Kubar, nearly 60 kilometers northwest of Deir Ezzor.
Two of the choppers remained in the air, while troops in the others attacked a number of ISIS vehicles, according to first-hand accounts recorded on the WhatsApp messaging service which a local activist, Abdul Rahman Hasson, provided to The Los Angeles Times.
“They went down, killed some ISIS fighters and took some others. We have no confirmation of the numbers of those killed,” Ahmad Ramadan, another activist said.
“A van and a pickup with ISIS fighters as reinforcements were destroyed by the helicopters in the air,” Ramadan added.
The US-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against purported ISIS positions inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.
The coalition has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians and failing to fulfill its declared aim of dislodging terrorists.
Nearly twenty civilians were killed on December 8, 2016, when a US-led strike targeted al-Msheirfeh region north of Raqqah. Several people also sustained injuries in the blitz.
Also on October 4 last year, at least 20 civilians were killed and 40 others sustained injuries after US-led coalition warplanes bombed the Kurdish-majority village of Thulthana in the northern province of Aleppo.