Four US troops were wounded in a helicopter raid in Syria Thursday night, February 16th, according to a statement by the US military. The raid, which killed Hamza al-Homsi, a senior ISIS leader, was carried out by US and Syrian Democratic Forces. The wounded troops and a working dog were injured during the raid when an explosion occurred. It is unclear at this point whether the explosion was the result of a suicide vest, a booby trap, or something else.
The joint raid was conducted in northeast Syria, but the US military did not specify the location. The Americans are currently receiving treatment in a US medical facility in Iraq, and three of the troops are in stable condition. The fourth service member suffered minor injuries and has returned to duty.
The US service members may be transported to the military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, for further treatment, according to two officials. No Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) troops were injured in the raid.
CENTCOM also announced in a tweet that a separate raid on February 10 killed “Ibrahim Al Qahtani, an ISIS official associated with planning ISIS detention center attacks.” The raid also “resulted in the seizure of multiple weapons, ammo, and a suicide belt,” according to the tweet.
Despite their defeat in Syria in March 2019, ISIS sleeper cells still conduct attacks around Syria and Iraq, where they once declared a “caliphate.” Joint operations between the US military and SDF fighters are common in northeast and eastern Syria along the border with Iraq.