The U.S. military captured a senior Islamic State leader during a raid in northwest Syria on Wednesday night, ABC News reported on Thursday.

There were no U.S. casualties and no damage to aircraft involved in the raid, said ABC News, citing a U.S. defense official.

The individual “was assessed to be an experienced bomb maker and facilitator who became one of the group’s top leaders in Syria,” according to the U.S. military.

A U.S. official named the suspect as Hani Ahmed al-Kurdi, describing him as “actively planning ISIS operations.”

“Though degraded, ISIS remains a threat. We remain dedicated to its defeat. Last night’s operation, which took a senior ISIS operator off the battlefield, demonstrates our commitment to the security of the Middle East and to the enduring defeat of ISIS,” Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla, the commander of U.S. Central Command, said in a statement.

The report described the raid and others like it in northwest Syria, in areas “controlled either by extremists or Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government,” as “risky.”

In April, an Israeli defense research center said attacks by ISIS had spiked in its areas of activity around the world, including in the Sinai Peninsula, where the Egyptian military has spent years battling the terror organization.

The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center said April’s discernable rise in attacks was attributable to the organization’s declaration of a campaign of revenge for the deaths of Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi and the group’s former spokesman. Both were killed in February in a U.S. counter-terror raid in Idlib, Syria.

ISIS also embarked on a series of symbolic attacks following the 2019 assassination in Syria of Qurayshi’s predecessor, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, by the United States.


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