Officials say US forces killed almost 700 suspected ISIS members in 2022
U.S. forces killed almost 700 suspected Islamic State operatives in 2022, including the leader of the group, dozens of regional leaders and hundreds of fighters.
U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a release on Thursday that it conducted 313 operations against ISIS over the past year, killing 466 operatives in Syria and at least 220 operatives in Iraq. Officials also detained 215 operatives in Syria and 159 operatives in Iraq.
The release states that no U.S. forces were injured or killed in the operations, a majority of which were conducted with the United States’s allies in the two countries.
U.S. forces fully transitioned to a role of advising, assisting and enabling Iraqi security forces, which are now leading successful unilateral offensive operations at the brigade level, according to the release.
“Over the past year, Iraqi Security Forces demonstrated an ability to continue operations to degrade ISIS, to aggressively pursue the terror group in Iraq, and to improve security and stability within Iraq,” said Gen. Michael Kurilla, the commander of CENTCOM. “Today, they display a high level of competence, professionalism, and progress in leading tactical operations, but there is still much work to be done.”
Kurilla said the Syrian Democratic Forces have continued to demonstrate the ability to push out ISIS leaders and fighters.
ISIS has also lost two of its top leaders over the past year. Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi blew himself up as U.S. forces closed in on him during a raid in Syria in February, and Abu al-Hassan al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi was killed in battle with the Free Syrian Army in October.
The release states that ISIS maintains malevolent intentions regarding the detention centers that the Syrian Democratic Forces control and desires to strike targets outside the region. It also continues to work with affiliates internationally, mostly in Africa and Afghanistan.
“The mission to defeat ISIS will continue in 2023 as CENTCOM and its Coalition partners remain committed to the enduring defeat of the terror group in order to maintain and enhance global security, stability, and human rights,” the release states.
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