(Beirut) American helicopter troops targeted Monday in northern Syria a leader of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) who was planning attacks in Europe and the Middle East and who was “probably” killed, announced the US army.

The new raid, part of a series of US strikes aimed at decapitating IS after its 2019 defeat in Syria, was carried out in an area controlled by pro-Turkish armed groups in the north of the country.

Two other “armed individuals” were killed in the strike, according to a statement from the United States Military Command for the Middle East (Centcom).

Centcom later clarified that it was a senior ISIS leader in Syria, identified as Abdel Hadi Mahmoud al-Haji Ali, who was planning “terrorist” attacks in the Middle East and Europe. The identities of the other two people killed have not been released.

No civilians or members of the American forces were killed or injured during the operation, the same source assured.

A Turkish group deployed in the region of Soueida where the raid took place, not far from the border with Turkey, claimed that two of its fighters who rushed to the scene were killed.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH), which has an extensive network of sources in Syria, “Violent clashes occurred during the raid during which two projectiles targeted the building in which a member of ISIS”.

The latter and two other fighters were killed, says the UK-based Observatory, adding that the IS leader targeted was from Manbij, a region further south controlled by Kurdish forces.

The OSDH adds that on his release from prison in Manbij, he fled to Soueida six months ago where he was protected by a pro-Turkish group deployed in this region near the border.

The director of the OSDH, Rami Abdel Rahmane, indicated that after the territorial defeat of the IS, many jihadists joined pro-Turkish rebel groups present in northern Syria.

On Monday, residents of Soueida told an AFP reporter that an IS leader was killed as he tried to flee and that his body had been handed over to one of his brothers.

Despite its territorial defeat, IS still carries out attacks in Syria. He again targeted shepherds and people picking truffles in the desert on Sunday, killing more than forty people.

The American army has for its part carried out several strikes in recent years targeting leaders of the jihadist group in Syria.

In early April, she announced that she had killed an IS leader responsible for attacks in Europe, whom she identified as Khaled Aydd Ahmad al-Jabouri.

IS has claimed responsibility for a series of deadly attacks in Europe during its time of power, when it controlled large areas in Syria and Iraq.

In October 2019, Washington announced the death of IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi during an American operation. His two successors were also killed in Syria in February and November 2022.

Triggered in 2011, the war in Syria has claimed an estimated 500,000 lives, devastated the country’s infrastructure and displaced millions of people.