First Published: 2017-01-11

Two IS operatives killed in commando raid in Syria
US defense official says senior Islamic State operative Abu Anas al-Iraqi killed in raid in province of Deir Ezzor on Sunday.
Middle East Online

WASHINGTON - A team of US-led commandos killed two Islamic State group operatives in Syria in a raid over the weekend, a US defense official confirmed Tuesday.

The operation in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor on Sunday drew significant international attention after the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an independent monitor, said that 25 jihadists had been killed.

The defense official said that only two Islamic State operatives died, including Abu Anas al-Iraqi, a "senior operative."

US television network ABC News quoted a counterterrorism official as saying he was a "top" IS leader.

The defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the two men had been killed in a vehicle on an isolated highway about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the city of Deir Ezzor.

Deir Ezzor is Syria's second-biggest province after Homs. Since early 2015, jihadists have besieged the provincial capital, also called Deir Ezzor, home to some 200,000 people.

The official said the special operations raid was led by US forces, but commandos from other nations in the anti-IS coalition were present too.

According to ABC News, the men in the vehicle had opened fire at helicopters that were tailing it.

The choppers fired back, killing the vehicle's occupants, ABC said.


Israel confirms it hit suspected Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007

Syrian rebels reach evacuation deal in Eastern Ghouta town

Abbas calls US ambassador to Israel 'son of a dog'

UN says Turkey security measures 'curtail human rights'

'Saudization' taking its toll on salesmen

American mother trapped in Syria’s Ghouta calls out Trump

Syria workers say French firm abandoned them to jihadists

Grim Nowruz for Kurds fleeing Afrin

Sarkozy back in custody for second day of questioning

Netanyahu says African migrants threaten Jewish majority

US Senate votes on involvement in Yemen war as Saudi prince visits

What a ‘limited strike’ against Syria’s Assad might mean

Natural gas in eastern Mediterranean fuels increasing tensions

Erdogan tells US to stop ‘deceiving’, start helping on Syria

IS controls Damascus district in surprise attack

French ex-president held over Libya financing allegations

NGO says Israeli army violating Palestinian minors’ rights

Human rights chief slams Security Council for inaction on Syria

US warns Turkey over civilians caught in Syria assault

Saudi crown prince keen to cement ties with US

Erdogan vows to expand Syria op to other Kurdish-held areas

Kurdish envoy accuses foreign powers of ignoring Turkish war crimes

Morocco authorities vow to close Jerada's abandoned mines

Israeli soldier sees manslaughter sentence slashed

Turkey insists no plans to remain in Afrin

Cairo voters show unwavering support for native son Sisi

Forum in Jordan explores new teaching techniques

Gaza Strip woes receive renewed attention but no fix is expected

Kurds, Syrian opposition condemn Afrin looting

36 jihadists killed in Egypt’s Sinai

Israel arrests French consulate worker for gun smuggling

Pro-Turkish forces loot Afrin

Israel prepares to demolish Jerusalem attacker's home

Saudi crown prince says his country to seek nuclear bomb if Iran does

Arab women artists in diaspora focus on identity and loss

Tunisia’s Central Bank targets inflation but may hurt growth prospects

Libya’s health system reflects a larger humanitarian crisis

Israel blasts Gaza underground tunnel

Abu Dhabi awards France's Total stakes in oil concessions

Erdogan says Afrin city centre under ‘total’ control

Egypt tries to contain Sudan but challenges, suspicions remain

US defence secretary presses Oman on Iran weapons smuggling

Syrian regime retakes two towns from Ghouta rebels

Hamas shutters mobile firm after Gaza attack on PM

Israel punishes family members of West Bank attacker