Women and Children Reported Dead After U.S. Raid in Syria
ATMEH, Syria — U.S. particular forces carried out what the Pentagon stated was a profitable, large-scale counterterrorism raid in northwestern Syria early Thursday. First responders on the scene reported 13 individuals had been killed, together with six youngsters and 4 ladies.
The operation, which residents say lasted about two hours, jolted the sleepy village of Atmeh close to the Turkish border — an space dotted with camps for internally displaced individuals from Syria’s civil struggle. The goal of the raid was not instantly clear.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby stated in a short assertion that the mission was a hit. “There have been no U.S. casualties. Extra info can be supplied because it turns into obtainable.”
A number of residents advised The Related Press they noticed physique components scattered close to the location of the raid, a home in Syria’s rebel-held Idlib province. They spoke on situation of anonymity for worry of reprisals, and stated the raid concerned helicopters, explosions and machine-gun fireplace.
It was the most important raid within the province for the reason that 2019 U.S. assault focusing on the Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Idlib is an Al-Qaida stronghold and residential to a number of of its prime operatives. However different militants have additionally discovered refuge within the area, which is broadly managed by Turkey-backed fighters.
There have been diverging experiences on how many individuals had been killed. The Related Press noticed physique components round the home, and blood contained in the constructing.
The opposition-run Syrian Civil Protection, first responders often known as the White Helmets, stated 13 individuals had been killed in shelling and clashes that ensued after U.S. the commando raid. They included six youngsters and 4 ladies, it stated.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition struggle monitor, stated the strike killed 9 individuals, together with two youngsters and a girl. Ahmad Rahhal, a citizen journalist who visited the location, reported seeing 12 our bodies.
The Pentagon supplied no particulars on who was the goal of the raid, or if any combatants or civilians on the bottom had been killed or injured.
Residents and activists described witnessing a big floor assault, with U.S. forces utilizing loudspeakers urging ladies and youngsters to go away the world.
There was at the very least one main explosion. A U.S. official stated that one of many helicopters within the raid suffered a mechanical drawback and needed to be blown up on the bottom. The U.S. official spoke on situation of anonymity to debate particulars of the navy operation.
The Observatory stated troops for the U.S.-led coalition utilizing helicopters landed within the space and attacked a home. It stated the power clashed with fighters on the bottom. Taher al-Omar, an Idlib-based activist, additionally stated he witnessed clashes between fighters and the U.S. power.
The navy operation obtained consideration on social media, with tweets from the area describing helicopters firing across the constructing close to Atmeh. Flight-tracking knowledge additionally steered that a number of drones had been circling the town of Sarmada and the village of Salwah, simply north of the raid’s location.
The clandestine operation got here because the Islamic State group was reasserting itself, finishing up a few of its largest assaults because it was defeated in 2019. In current weeks and months, the group has launched a sequence of operations within the area, together with a 10-day assault late final month to grab a jail in northeastern Syria.
A U.S.-backed Kurdish-led power stated greater than 120 of their fighters and jail employees died within the effort to thwart the IS plot, whose purpose appeared to free senior IS operatives from the jail. The jail homes at the very least 3,000 Islamic State group detainees.
The tried jail break was the largest navy operation by the extremist group since IS was defeated and members scattered to havens in 2019. The U.S.-led coalition carried out airstrikes and deployed American personnel in Bradley Preventing Autos to the jail space to assist the Kurdish forces.
At a information convention Monday, an SDF senior official Nowruz Ahmad stated the jail assault was a part of a broader plot that IS had been getting ready for a very long time, together with assaults on different neighborhoods in Hassakeh, Shaddada and areas of Deir el-Zour in japanese Syria and on the al-Hol camp within the south, which homes 1000’s of households of IS members.
The U.S.-led coalition has focused high-profile militants on a number of events lately, aiming to disrupt what U.S. officers say is a secretive cell referred to as the Khorasan group that’s planning exterior assaults. A U.S. airstrike killed al-Qaida’s second in command, former bin Laden aide Abu al-Kheir al-Masri, in Syria earlier this 12 months.
Baldor reported from Washington, D.C.