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US captures Islamic State official in Syria as fighting renews among allies

The US military said it captured a senior IS official in Syria on Saturday, as renewed fighting Monday between Kurdish-led forces and Arab tribes in Deir Ezzor raised new questions as to the open-ended nature of the US mission.
A US AH-64 Apache attack helicopter flies above US soldiers patrolling along the frontlines.

US troops captured a senior Islamic State (IS) official during a helicopter raid in northern Syria on Saturday, the latest in a steady drumbeat of such operations in the wake of the multinational campaign to eradicate the terror group.

American forces captured Abu Halil al-Fad’ani, alleged by US Central Command to be an “operational and facilitation official” for IS in Syria whom the United States “assessed to have relationships throughout the IS network in the region.” The military said no civilians were harmed in the raid.

"The capture of ISIS officials like al-Fad’ani increases our ability to locate, target and remove terrorists from the battlefield,” CENTCOM spokesperson Lt. Col. Troy Garlock said in a press release. “USCENTCOM remains committed to the enduring defeat of ISIS.” 

A spokesperson for CENTCOM did not reply by publication time to Al-Monitor’s inquiry as to the precise location of the operation. US forces control a truncated sliver of northeast Syria in support of Kurdish-led local fighters, while Syrian opposition factions backed by Turkey control the country’s northwest.

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