Some 145-150 ISIS terrorists were eliminated in a “precision strike” on a headquarters of the terror group in eastern Syria, the coalition announced Tuesday evening.
The strike hit an ISIS headquarters and command and control center near As Shafah, in the Euphrates River valley, about 20 kilometres from the Syria-Iraq border.
The “heavy concentration of ISIS terrorists appear to have been massing for movement,” the coalition stated in their published announcement.
“The strikes underscore our assertion that the fight to liberate Syria is far from over,” said Maj. Gen. James Jarrard, commanding general of the coalition’s special operations task force.
Coalition allies the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) assisted in “target observation prior to the strikes,” the statement confirmed.
“Our SDF partners are still making daily progress and sacrifices, and together we are still finding, targeting and killing ISIS terrorists intent on keeping their extremist hold on the region. We cannot take our focus off our mission, and we must not lose our momentum in taking these terrorists off the battlefield and preventing them from resurfacing somewhere else,” said Jarrard.
Earlier in the day, US Defence Secretary James Mattis criticized Turkey’s military offensive against Kurdish forces of the SDF in Afrin as a distraction from the war on terror.
“The violence in Afrin disrupts what was a relatively stable area of Syria. It distracts from international efforts to ensure the defeat of ISIS, and this could be exploited by ISIS and Al-Qaeda,” he said, urging everyone to remain focused on the war against ISIS.