Four U.S. soldiers were injured in an operation in the Middle East this week that successfully killed the intended target of the mission — a senior ISIS leader.
“Last night, during a partnered U.S. and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) helicopter raid in northeastern Syria, an explosion on target resulted in four U.S. servicemembers and one working dog wounded,” U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement. “The targeted ISIS senior leader, Hamza al-Homsi, was killed.”
CENTCOM said that the servicemembers and a working dog were receiving medical treatment at a U.S. medical facility in Iraq.
ISIS Senior Leader Killed and Four U.S. Servicemembers Wounded in Helicopter Raid in Northeastern Syria pic.twitter.com/j2a8IWsQw2
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) February 17, 2023
Al-Homsi was reportedly overseeing ISIS’s terrorist activity in eastern Syria.
“The injuries to the US troops and working dog result from Hamza al-Homsi triggering an explosion on the target near Deir ez-zor, Syria,” said CENTCOM spokesman Col. Joe Buccino. “No other ISIS fighters were killed or captured on this target, however, a separate ISIS raid that same night resulted in the death of an ISIS assassination cell leader.”
ABC News reported that three of the service members were in stable condition while the fourth appears to have only sustained minor injuries.
In January, the U.S. military killed a high-level ISIS leader during an operation in Africa along with nearly a dozen ISIS operatives. A senior administration official told CNN that the operation took place in a “mountainous cave complex in northern Somalia” where ISIS was planning its expansion into Africa and beyond.
“Given the remote location of the operation, the assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed,” U.S. Africa Command said in a statement. “Protecting civilians remains a vital part of the command’s operations to promote greater security for all Africans.”
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin confirmed that U.S. forces killed ISIS leader Bilal-al-Sudani.
“On January 25, on orders from the President, the U.S. military conducted an assault operation in northern Somalia that resulted in the death of a number of ISIS members, including Bilal-al-Sudani, an ISIS leader in Somalia and a key facilitator for ISIS’s global network,” Austin said. “Al-Sudani was responsible for fostering the growing presence of ISIS in Africa and for funding the group’s operations worldwide, including in Afghanistan.”
The official who CNN spoke to said that U.S. forces wanted to capture al-Sudani alive, but the response from the terrorists ultimately made that impossible, and al-Sudani, along with 10 other terrorists, were killed.
Only one service member was injured during the operation when he was bitten by an American military canine.