CENTCOM killed 11 ISIS operatives and detained 227 others in January operations
U.S. Central Command and partnered forces conducted 43 operations in January that resulted in the deaths of 11 Islamic State operatives and the detention of 227 others.
Thirty-three of the operations occurred in Iraq and resulted in the detention of 29 ISIS fighters and resulted in the deaths of 9 others, according to a statement from CENTCOM. The other 10 operations took place in Syria and resulted in the detainment of 198 ISIS fighters, while two were killed. The operations “degraded ISIS and removed multiple senior ISIS militants from the battlefield, including the Emir of Raqqa and a Syrian provincial media and security operative,” CENTCOM said in its announcement.
“While our efforts have degraded ISIS, the group’s vile ideology remains uncontained and unconstrained,” Gen. Michael Kurilla, commander of CENTCOM, said. “ISIS continues to represent a threat to not only Iraq and Syria, but to the stability and security of the region. Therefore, we must continue the fight against ISIS alongside our partners.”
“We rely heavily on the Syrian Democratic Forces for the fight against ISIS,” Kurilla added. “Meanwhile, our Iraqi Security Forces have been aggressively taking the fight to ISIS in Iraq.”
“We commend the competence, professionalism, and dedication of our Iraqi, Syrian, and coalition partner forces,” said Maj. Gen. Matthew McFarlane, Combined Joint Task Force–Operation Inherent Resolve commander. “Their unwavering efforts maintain steady pressure on the ISIS network. The U.S. remains committed to ensuring the lasting defeat of ISIS to preserve regional security and stability.”
U.S. forces continue to fight against the remaining remnants of ISIS, having conducted hundreds of similar missions last year. They conducted a total of 313 operations against ISIS in Iraq and Syria in 2022 that resulted in the death or detention of more than a thousand ISIS operatives.
Kurilla expressed his views on ISIS last month, telling reporters he sees three categories: the current generation of ISIS leaders and operatives that the U.S. is actively trying to defeat, the second being the ISIS fighters who are in detention centers throughout Iraq and Syria that could escape and rejoin the fight, and the next generation of possible ISIS fighters.
U.S. officials, Kurilla included, have said one of the most important aspects in defeating the ISIS ideology is the repatriation of those who have been captured.
The al Hol refugee camp in northwest Syria has a population of roughly 55,000 consisting mainly of the wives and children of the ISIS fighters that are in the prisons. There is rampant radicalization of children in the camp and repatriating them to their country of origin can help prevent the development of another generation of ISIS fighters.