U.S. Forces Have Captured Another Daesh Senior Leader During Night Helicopter Raid

Syria raid
A screenshot from the video below showing the Chinook in flight at very low altitude. In the box a file photo of a MH-47G of the 160th SOAR. (Photo: Boeing/U.S. Army)

The raid took place in northeast Syria, near the Turkish border.

One of the top leaders of Daesh’s Syrian branch was captured during a night raid in northeast Syria on June 15, 2022. The captured individual is an experienced bomb maker and operational facilitator, which U.S. officials identified as Hani Ahmed Al-Kurdi, also known as the “Wali of Raqqa” (Governor of Raqqa).

“The mission was meticulously planned to minimize the risk of collateral damage or civilian harm. The operation was successful; no civilians were harmed nor were there injuries to Coalition forces or damage to Coalition aircraft or assets”, said the press release from the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR).

Six helicopters were reportedly involved in the operation, with videos emerged on social media showing CH-47 Chinook and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters in the Aleppo countryside. Given the type of mission and the fact that they were flying very low and fast, it is almost certain those helicopters were indeed MH-47Gs and MH-60Ms of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), better known as the Night Stalkers.

Details about the raid are sketchy, with war monitoring groups saying that the target was a house on the edge of the village of al-Humayra. Some sources say that the village is occupied by Turkish-backed militants, which reportedly also opened fire against the helicopters, while fighter jets and UAVs loitered above the area.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports that here were seven minutes of armed clashes between the troops and people inside the village before the helicopters flew off. They also reported that the helicopters later landed at a base in the Kobane region in eastern Aleppo province, following the successful raid.

Earlier this year, another raid in northern Syria resulted in the death of Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, the leader of the Islamic State militant group. In that occasion, one of the helicopters was abandoned and destroyed away from the target compound, while the heavy clashed between US forces and the militants resulted also in the death of a number of civilians occupying the target building.

About Stefano D'Urso
Stefano D'Urso is a freelance journalist and contributor to TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. A graduate in Industral Engineering he's also studying to achieve a Master Degree in Aerospace Engineering. Electronic Warfare, Loitering Munitions and OSINT techniques applied to the world of military operations and current conflicts are among his areas of expertise.