Coalition confirms U.S. forces launched raid near Deir ez-Zor

Coalition confirms U.S. forces launched raid near Deir ez-Zor
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SULAIMANI – Coalition forces confirmed on Wednesday (January 11) that U.S. Special Forces carried out a secret raid in eastern Syria, aimed at capturing an Islamic State (ISIS) militant.

Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) told NRT on Wednesday that a U.S. operation was carried out in the vicinity of Deir ez-Zor on Sunday (January 8).

“The U.S. and the entire counter-ISIL Coalition will continue to pursue ISIL leaders wherever they are to ensure the security and stability of the region and our homelands,” the coalition said using another acronym for ISIS.

According to officials and Syrian activist groups, the raid took place near a small town along the Euphrates River valley.

U.S. defense officials told the Washington Post that U.S. Special Forces stopped a vehicle carrying an ISIS leader whom U.S. forces had hoped to capture and question.

An official told the Washington Post that the suspect and another person were killed in the car as a firefight broke out, adding no American soldiers were injured.

Spokesman of the U.S. Defense Department refused reports stating that 25 ISIS militants had been killed during a two-hour raid in al-Kubar, a village in Deir ez-Zor province.

Davis added no ISIS militants were detained in the operation and it did not involve rescuing any hostages as several news reports had indicated the day after the operation was carried out.

UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 25 militants were killed during the operation. Another activist group, Sound and Picture, said two ISIS prisoners were freed.

The coalition’s warplanes conducted five airstrikes near Deir ez-Zor destroying eight oil pump jacks, six oil refinement skills, three excavators and two cranes. 

Deir ez-Zor is an oil-rich province which borders Iraq. Half of the city is under ISIS control while the other part is held by Syrian government forces. The province has been the focus of U.S.-led Coalition airstrikes.