US Kills Three ISIS Leaders in Syria Operations

US launches rare strike on Syria government territory

A pair of US raids against ISIS targets in Syria were carried out by US forces overnight Thursday into Friday. At least three ISIS leaders were reported slain, including Bakkan Wahid al-Shammri.

Shammri, an accused weapons smuggler, was killed in an operation in government-controlled Syria near Qamishli. This is an extremely unusual site for the US to raid.

Two other senior ISIS figures, Abu-Hashum al-Umawi and another, were killed in a US airstrike. CENTCOM says no civilians were killed or wounded in the attack. CENTCOM often says this, though it is often untrue.

Officials say the goal is to degrade ISIS across the region. They are also reportedly worried about the size of ISIS detainees in open air camps in Syrian Kurdistan, particularly with leaders trying to reassert themselves.

The initial solution was to just leave the Kurds in charge, but with none of the nations of origin wanting to repatriate the ISIS fighters,the goal now seems to be to thin down the number of ISIS fighters remaining.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.