US helicopter raid kills senior ISIS leader

by Jacob Fuller

Katie Kerekes, FISM News

An Islamic State senior leader was killed in a “unilateral helicopter raid” in northern Syria early Monday morning, according to the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM.)

The senior ISIS leader and operational planner, who CENTCOM has named as Abd-al-Hadi Mahmud al-Haji Ali, was responsible for planning terror attacks in the Middle East and Europe.

While Ali was the primary target of the raid, two other ISIS operatives were also killed, according to the April 17 press announcement.

“This operation was launched after intelligence revealed an ISIS plot to kidnap officials abroad as leverage for ISIS initiatives,” the release states.

An earlier announcement from CENTCOM confirmed no U.S. troops were wounded, nor were any helicopters damaged in the operation’s successful execution, which was due to “extensive planning.” It also is believed that no civilians were injured or killed.

“Though degraded, ISIS remains able to conduct operations within the region with a desire to strike beyond the Middle East,” said General Michael “Erik” Kurrilla, a CENTCOM commander. “We will continue the relentless campaign against ISIS.”

Col. Joe Buccino, a CENTCOM spokesperson, says the operation “reaffirms” the department’s “steadfast commitment” to the “defeat of ISIS.”

According to the Washington Examiner, “CENTCOM and its partners conducted a total of 37 missions in Iraq and Syria in the month of March that resulted in the deaths of nine ISIS operatives and detentions of 18 others.”

As previously reported by FISM, 686 ISIS operatives were killed last year as a result of over 313 CENTCOM operations, with an additional 374 operatives detained.