Photo Credit: Army Reserve Spc. DeAndre Pierce
National Guard soldiers with an M2A2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle in eastern Syria, Nov. 11, 2019.

Coalition forces detained a senior ISIS leader during an operation in Syria on Thursday, according to a press release issued by the US military. The detained individual, Hani Ahmed Al-Kurdi, whom the Army said was known as the “Wali (governor) of Raqqa,” a city in northern Syria that once was the Islamic State’s capital. 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, particularly any potential harm to civilians. There were no civilians harmed during the operation nor any damage to Coalition aircraft or assets,” the Army said. Or, as Army General Michael Erik Kurilla, the head of US Central Command, put it, the detention of Al-Kurdi “demonstrates our commitment to the security of the region and the enduring defeat of ISIS.”


Good to know. The reason the press release stresses the fact that no civilians had been killed in the performance of Thursday’s mission has to do with the fact that children were reportedly killed when ISIS’ top leader, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, had been liquidated in a US Army raid last February on his hideout in Atma, Syria. The Army rigged with explosives the building where al-Qurayshi was hiding, and when US soldiers detonated those explosives, at least five children were killed in the explosion that followed, according to reports by local first responders and UNICEF.

And only last month, the Pentagon confirmed that a 2019 airstrike in Baghuz, Syria, killed civilians, including children, together with the ISIS fighters, or individuals the Army thought were ISIS fighters.

I must admit, it’s easier when someone other than Israel is in the hot seat for getting civilians killed in a legitimate attack on terrorists.

The US Army declared that “coalition forces will continue to hunt the remnants of ISIS wherever they hide to ensure their enduring defeat.” And if you thought ISIS was finished, a done deal, CENTCOM’s spokesman, Col. Joe Buccino, told The Washington Post Thursday morning that “ISIS continues to present a threat to the U.S. and our partners in the region.”


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