American forces carry out airborne operation targeting senior ISIS leader in Syrian regime-controlled village

ZALIN, Syria — For the first time, US forces carried an airborne operation inside Syrian regime territory.

The Thursday night raid in the village of Molouk Saray, south of the city of Zalin (Qamishli), targeted senior Islamic State (ISIS) official Rakkan Wahid al-Shammri,  “an ISIS official known to facilitate the smuggling of weapons and fighters to support ISIS operations” according to a press release issued by US Central Command (CENTCOM).

“During the operation, the targeted individual was killed and one of his associates was wounded,” read the statement. “Two additional associates were detained by US forces.”

One of the detained associates is reportedly the commander of a group of Syrian regime auxiliary forces.

The raid took place around 4 a.m. and involved four US helicopters. Following their landing, an intense exchange of fire occurred between US forces and members of the Syrian-regime auxiliaries.

US forces informed local villagers to remain indoors and turn out their lights. No civilians were killed or wounded in the operation.

In a separate operation, two senior ISIS leaders — Abu-Hashum al-Umawi, a deputy leader of ISIS in Syria, and Abu Mu’Ad al-Qahtani, an ISIS official responsible for prisoner affairs — were killed in a US airstrike in northern Syria. CENTCOM did not specify the location of the strike.