US forces captured an ISIS operative and two of his associates in eastern Syria on Saturday evening, the US military announced on Wednesday.
The operative, Hudayfah al Yemeni, is an “ISIS attack facilitator,” a news release from US Central Command said. He and his associates were captured by US forces during a helicopter raid on Saturday.
Their capture will “disrupt” ISIS’ “ability to plot and carry out operations,” according to the release.
“Operations against ISIS are important for the security and stability of the region,” Col. Joe Buccino, a CENTCOM spokesperson, said in the release on Wednesday. “ISIS remains a threat to the region and beyond – the group retains the capability to conduct operations in Iraq and Syria with a desire to strike beyond the Middle East, and its vile ideology remains a threat. Operations such as this one reaffirms our commitment to the enduring defeat of ISIS.”
The capture comes after more than a dozen ISIS operatives were detained by US and coalition forces in March in Iraq and Syria, and nine were killed. A breakdown published by CENTCOM at the beginning of this month said a total of 37 US and coalition operations in Iraq and Syria resulted in 18 operatives being detained.
Of the operatives who were detained, at least eight were involved in plans to attack ISIS detention facilities in Syria, the release this month said.
An operation at the beginning of April resulted in the death of one senior ISIS leader – Khalid ‘Aydd Ahmad al-Jabouri – who had planned attacks in Europe and developed the organization’s leadership structure, according to CENTCOM.
In February, four US troops and a US working dog were wounded in a joint partner helicopter raid that ultimately killed another senior ISIS leader, Hamza al-Homsi.
Last month, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley visited troops in northeast Syria for the first time as chairman.