United States commandos carried out a raid against Islamic State fighters in eastern Syria over the weekend, two American officials said on Monday.
At least 25 fighters were killed in the two-hour raid in al-Kubar, a village in Deir al-Zour Province, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group.
American military officials in Washington and at the United States Central Command in Tampa, Fla., declined early Monday to confirm any details of the operation, including who or what was targeted.
“No big deal, normal business,” said one military official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because details of the operation had not yet been made public.
The oil-rich province, which borders Iraq, is largely under Islamic State control and has been the focus of American-led airstrikes and other military action.
Since early 2015, the jihadists have besieged the provincial capital, also called Deir al-Zour, which has about 200,000 residents. The Islamic State controls roughly half of the city, while the rest is held by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.
The raid was carried out by the so-called expeditionary targeting force, a group of commandos from the Joint Special Operations Command who target Islamic State leaders and fighters in Iraq and Syria.
The group has intensified drone strikes and raids in Syria in recent months against the Islamic State’s external operations planners, who have inspired, supported and directed attacks in the West.
It is unclear what the objective of this weekend raid might have been. In similar operations, American officials said that detailed personal information recovered from laptops, cellphones and other electronic devices and materials seized in the raids had helped attacks against important terrorist leaders.
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