U S special forces conduct ‘counterterrorism mission’ in Syria Pentagon

U. S. special forces conducted a “counterterrorism mission” in northwest Syria, the Pentagon said early Thursday.“The mission was successful. There were no U. S. casualties. More information will be provided as it becomes available,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said in a brief statement. More information would be released as available, Kirby said. The Pentagon did not immediately disclose the target of the raid in northwest Syria, which was announced early Thursday. Residents and activists in the area described seeing a large ground assault, and U. S. forces using loudspeakers asking women and children to leave the area, The Associated Press reported. Syria has been gripped by over a decade of war. The United Nations’ human rights office in September said the war has left more than 350,200 people dead, and called that figure was “certainly an undercount.”The U. S. was involved in an air campaign against the Islamic State group, which once claimed control of parts of Syria and Iraq. American forces have also conducted airstrikes since then, including last year. In December the U. S. and its military allies shot down a drone believed to be threatening a U. S. outpost in southern Syria, officials said. The outpost had been attacked by drones and rocket fire. The U. S. troops at the base train Syrian opposition forces to fight against Islamic State fighters in the area. In October, a U. S. airstrike in northwest Syria killed a senior Al Qaeda leader, Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U. S. Central Command said at the time. In September, it said it killed an Al Qaeda leader near Idlib, which is also in northwestern Syria. The military says Al Qaeda uses Syria as a base.

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