Syrian state media said that U.S. special forces conducted a rare operation in a government-held town in the northeast, killing one individual and capturing others.
Thursday’s operation took place in a region of Hassakeh province held in part by government forces and in part by US-backed Kurdish militants.
“US occupation troops conducted a landing operation utilizing several helicopters in the hamlet of Muluk Saray in the southern countryside of Qamishli, resulting in the death of one individual,” Syria’s national media said, without providing further details.
Colonel Joseph Buccino, the spokesperson for US Central Command (CENTCOM), acknowledged to Reuters that US soldiers were involved in a morning operation targeting an ISIL (ISIS) operator but offered no other information.
The United States has previously conducted operations in Syria targeting ISIL terrorists, but Thursday’s operation would be the first reported strike in a government-held region.
The village targeted by the operation is located 17 kilometers (10 miles) south of the city of Qamishli. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, headquartered in the United Kingdom, it is under the control of Syrian regime troops.
According to the Observatory, this is the first time US troops have conducted such an operation in the regime-held territory, which did not name the casualty.
The monitor stated that several other people were captured but did not provide a specific number.
One villager reported that three US helicopters carrying military equipment arrived in the area around midnight and ordered locals to remain indoors with the lights off through loudspeakers.
According to the homeowner, the operation lasted many hours, and there was no exchange of fire with U.S. forces.