The US-led coalition said it had detained a senior leader of the Islamic State group in Syria during an operation early Thursday.
The coalition conducts raids and attacks targeting members of the jihadist group, which has been conducting rebel attacks since its defeat on the battlefield three years ago.
“The man in custody was believed to be a veteran bomb maker and facilitator, who went on to become one of the group’s top leaders in Syria,” the statement said.
The coalition did not say in which part of Syria Thursday’s raids took place.
A spokesman for a separate Turkish-backed Syrian rebel group told Reuters earlier on Thursday that coalition forces had conducted a helicopter raid in the village of al-Humeira, south of the Turkish border, the first of its kind in the region.
Major Yusuf Hammoud, spokesman for the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA), said US-made Chinook and Black Hawk helicopters were involved, but said the exact circumstances were unclear at the time.
“This is the first (US) helicopter landing operation to be conducted in areas under the control of the SNA”, he said.
A source in contact with the rebels in the area said clashes took place during the operation.
United States special forces raided a helicopter controlled by the jihadist Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in Syria’s Idlib province in February, killing Islamic State leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashmi al-Quraishi.
Qureshi had led the group since the death of its founder, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was also killed in a detonation of explosives during a US raid in 2019.
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