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Baghdadi’s Kin Killed, ISIS-Assigned Euphrates Governor Arrested in Eastern Syria | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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US Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles taxi the runway after landing at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, November 12, 2015. (Reuters)

Beirut – Two military landing operations took place in eastern Syria, the same region where Washington announced the arrest of a close associate of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on April 6, Iraqi military and Syrian local sources confirmed.

After the raid, sources registered 30 minutes of intense fighting between ISIS militants and coalition members. Reliable sources cited the death of Baghdadi’s kin alongside 23 ISIS members of different nationalities in the raid.

Opposition website Euphrates Post said that the international coalition led by the United States had staged an after-midnight ground operation on Saturday in the Hammar region in al-Bukamal, located near the Euphrates River in the Deir al-Zour Governorate of eastern Syria bordering Iraq.

The website also confirmed that another airborne military landing took place in al-Baghouz village in Deir al-Zour, which targeted the ISIS assigned Wali (governor) of the Euphrates region resulting in his capture.

The surge in US military intervention against ISIS comes in a series of operations being disclosed. One of the most notable operations was the secret military ground operation that killed an ISIS operative seen as a close associate of al-Baghdadi and as allegedly linked to an attack on a Turkish nightclub that left 39 people dead on New Year’s Eve.

Abdurakhmon Uzbeki, who was believed to be from Uzbekistan, was killed during the ground assault near Mayadin, Syria, on April 6, said Colonel John Thomas, a spokesman for the US military’s Central Command.

“It was a ground operation. I think that’s all we’re willing to say about that,” Thomas said, declining further comment. He specified that Uzbeki did not die in an airstrike.

More so, several military operations were launched in Iraq over the past few days to comb desert regions in the Anbar province, killing dozens of ISIS militants.

Last week, additional US forces reportedly arrived to a military base in Anbar to take part in the security campaign against ISIS militants.

In March, reports indicated possible joint operations by the Iraqi and US forces to clear ISIS-held towns near the borders with Syria.

ISIS is believed to be holding thousands in some western regions in Anbar to use them as human shields against any future security offensive.

Fighter jets from the Iraqi army and the international coalition have also regularly pounded ISIS locations in the province.