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U.S. says it captured a senior ISIS leader in Syria ground operation

The U.S.-led military coalition fighting the remnants of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq announced the capture of a senior ISIS leader during a ground raid in northwestern Syria early Thursday. "The detained individual was assessed to be an experienced bomb maker and facilitator who became one of the group's top leaders in Syria," the coalition said in a statement. U.S. forces suffered no injuries, a U.S. defense official told ABC News. 

"The mission was meticulously planned to minimize the risk of collateral damage, particularly any potential harm to civilians," the U.S.-led Operation Inherent Resolve said. "There were no civilians harmed during the operation nor any damage to coalition aircraft or assets."

"U.S. military ground raids into northwestern Syria are risky because they are carried out far west from U.S. bases in eastern Syria in areas that are controlled either by extremists or Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government," ABC News reports. Previous raids in the area have targeted ISIS founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who killed himself during an October 2019 raid, and his successor, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, who blew himself up during a U.S. raid in February. 

"Coalition forces will continue to hunt the remnants of Daesh [ISIS] wherever they hide to ensure their enduring defeat," Operation Inherent Resolve said. ISIS has maintained a low-level insurgency in Iraq and Syria, with occasional large operations, most recently a January mass jailbreak of ISIS fighters in Hasakah, northeast Syria. U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish forces, backed by U.S. airstrikes, retook the prison after a 10-day battle, but several hundred ISIS militants likely escaped and hundreds more were believed killed in the battle.