US special forces target Daesh in Syria's Deir Ezzor, killing 25
Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria is one of the last towns in Syria held by Daesh militants. (AFP/File)
American special forces were deployed in eastern Syria this weekend in an operation aimed at capturing leaders of Daesh, military officials said Monday.
The US Department of Defense publicly noted several operations in Syria on Sunday. One apparently involved a raid in a small town along the Euphrates River that targeted militant leaders.
The operation was initially reported by Deir Ezzor 24, which monitors militant activity in that area.
The strike targeting extremist leaders lasted for about 90 minutes and involved special forces troops arriving on helicopters. It ended with soldiers carrying away captured and killed Daesh operators.
The maneuvers were part of Operation Inherent Resolve, US Central Command's campaign against Daesh in Iraq and Syria -- which is part of a larger international anti-militant coalition.
"[We] confirm a US operation in the vicinity of Deir Ezzor on Jan. 8," John Dorrian, a spokesman for the coalition, told The Washington Post. "The US and the entire counter-ISIL [Daesh] coalition will continue to pursue ISIL leaders wherever they are to ensure the security and stability of the region and our homelands."
The Post reported the strike was carried out by the Expeditionary Task Force, an elite US unit based in Iraq tasked with hunting down top Daesh leaders.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human rights reported Monday that the US raid killed at least 25 Daesh operatives. The group also reported two terrorist leaders -- Abu Sufiyan al-Omrani and Abu Huzaifa al-Orduni -- were killed in coalition airstrikes this weekend in Al-Raqqah, about 100 miles northwest of Deir Ezzor.
CENTCOM said there were a total of 34 strikes carried out in Syria and Iraq on Sunday.