Photo Credit: Army Reserve Spc. DeAndre Pierce
Coalition forces on Thursday arrested a senior Islamic State operative during an operation in Syria, according to a press release issued by the US military. The detained individual, Hani Ahmed Al-Kurdi, who the army said was known as the “wali (governor) of Raqqa”, a city in northern Syria that was once the capital of the Islamic State. The press release said Al-Kurdi was “an experienced bomb-maker and facilitator who became one of the group’s top leaders in Syria.”
“The mission was meticulously planned to minimize the risk of collateral damage, especially any potential harm to civilians. No civilians were injured during the operation or any damage to coalition aircraft or property,” the military said. Or, as Army General Michael Erik Kurilla, head of US Central Command, put it, Al-Kurdi’s detention “demonstrates our commitment to the security of the region and the enduring defeat of ISIS.”
Good to know. The reason the press release insists that no civilians were killed during the execution of Thursday’s mission has to do with the fact that children were allegedly killed when ISIS’s supreme leader , Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, was liquidated in a US military raid last February on his hideout in Atma, Syria. The army booby-trapped the building where al-Qurayshi was hiding, and when US soldiers detonated those explosives, at least five children were killed in the ensuing blast, according to reports from local first responders and UNICEF.
And it was only last month that the Pentagon confirmed that a 2019 airstrike in Baghuz, Syria, killed civilians, including children, as well as IS fighters, or individuals whom the army thought they were IS fighters.
I have to admit it’s easier when someone other than Israel is on the hook for killing civilians in a legitimate attack on terrorists.
The U.S. military said “coalition forces will continue to hunt ISIS remnants wherever they hide to ensure their lasting defeat.” And if you thought ISIS was over, a deal done, CENTCOM spokesman Col. Joe Buccino told The Washington Post Thursday morning that “ISIS continues to pose a threat to the United States and our partners in the region.