US-led coalition arrests IS leader, suspected members in Syria's Deir Ez-Zour

US-led coalition arrests IS leader, suspected members in Syria's Deir Ez-Zour
An airdrop by the anti-IS international force in Syria's east led to the arrest of a number of suspected members of the group, including a leader.
2 min read
24 September, 2021
The airdrop by the US-led forces was preceded by missile attacks in the Deir Ez-Zour villages [AFP/Getty]

The international coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Syria carried out an airdrop at dawn on Thursday in the country’s east, leading to the arrest of one of the group's leaders. 

Backed by the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Global Coalition airdropped between the villages of Busaiteen and Al-Jasmi in the eastern Deir Ez-Zour governorate, detaining a number of people suspected of belonging to IS.

The coalition said on their Twitter page that the leader arrested, whose name wasn’t revealed, was responsible for delivering weapons, providing hideouts and planning terrorist attacks.

Activist Amjad Al-Sari from the Ain Al-Furat Network told The New Arab’s sister site, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, that at least seven people were arrested on charges of belonging to IS, adding that helicopters targeted the area with missiles and machine guns before the start of the raid.

IS once controlled large swathes of territory in much of eastern Syria.

The newly formed Turkish-backed Syrian Liberation Front (SLF) meanwhile announced they carried out an operation in sites belonging to the SDF in the vicinity of Ain Issa, located in the Raqaa governorate.

In a statement, the SLF confirmed that their fighters managed to infiltrate the sites of "terrorist" groups affiliated with the People's Protection Units (YPG) and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) – in reference to the SDF – near Ain Issa.

They said that as a result of the operation, five members of the opponent groups were killed, weapons were seized, and a series of booby-trapped tunnels between the villages of Salloum, Dibis and Muhammadiyah were found and destroyed.

Kurdish armed groups in Syria are considered terrorist organisations by Ankara, which has a military presence in the Idlib governorate where it backs several rebel and Islamist groups.