Close associate of ISIS leader Killed in US raid in Syria
US ground forces in Syria kill 'close associate' of Daesh leader.
American troops have carried out a commando raid in Syria this month that killed a close associate of Daesh (ISIL) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, according to the US military.
The senior Daesh operative, identified as Abdurakhmon Uzbeki, was killed in the eastern town of Mayadin on April 6, US Central Command chief spokesman John Thomas announced on Friday.
"He was known to interact with him in various ways over time," Coronel Thomas said about Uzbeki's relationship with the terror group's shadowy leader.
He facilitated the movement of ISIS foreign terror fighters and funds, he added.
US officials allege that Uzbeki played a key role in the New Year's nightclub bombing in Turkey which killed 39 people.
"He was involved in plotting external terror plots," Thomas said. "We've clearly linked him with the Istanbul" attack.
Friday's raid was conducted by the so-called expeditionary targeting force, made up of commandos from the secretive Joint Special Operations Command.
The US military, for the most part, has relied on unmanned drone strikes to kill what officials call "high value individuals."
But commanders have in the past ordered Special Operations troops, who Washington says have an advisory role, to carry out operations on the ground.
In early January, US commandos killed a mid-level Daesh leader in the eastern Syrian city of Dayr al-Zawr in an operation to capture him.
In 2015, US troops killed Abu Sayyaf, the chief financial officer for Daesh, not far from the site of this recent raid. The militant's wife was captured and interrogated.
The United States has about 500 special troops in Syria, mainly advising and assisting US-backed militants and Kurdish forces there.
President Donald Trump ruled out sending more troops to Syria earlier this month following a massive missile attack on a Syrian airfield that raised fears of an invasion.
We're not going into Syria. Our policy is the same � it hasn't changed. We're not going into Syria, Trump told Fox News.
The US has been carrying out airstrikes against purported Daesh positions in Syria since 2014, without a UN mandate or permission from Damascus.
Source: Al Alam