The recent drone strike on the Turkish-occupied area of Afrin in northern Syria killed a former ISIS commander, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on May 22.
The slain commander traveled between Jandaris in northern Afrin and Greater Idlib on a regular basis, according to the London-based monitoring group.
Hassan Hassan, a U.S.-based journalist, revealed that the slain commander was a military chief in ISIS “Hama Wilayat.”
Exclusive via a source on the ground: a strike suspected to be by the US hit a vehicle carrying ISIS fighters south of Turkish-controlled Afrin in NW Syria. One was formerly military chief of ISIS Hama Wilayat. They were traveling with documents claiming they were Ahrar al-Sham.
— Hassan Hassan (@hxhassan) May 21, 2020
The commander and two other individuals were traveling on May 21 in Afrin with documents of members of the Turkish-backed Ahrar al-Sham militan tgroup when an airstrike targeted their Hyundai Santa Fe SUV.
The commander and one of his companions were immediately killed. The third individual was injured, and is now being held by the Turkish intelligence, according to the SOHR.
Local sources said that after the drone strike that the commander’s SUV was loaded with a large amount of cash, including foreign currencies.
ISIS cells became highly-active in Afrin following the Turkish occupation of the area. Last year, a U.S. drone strike killed an ISIS commander in the area. The commander was also moving there claiming to be a member of Ahrar al-Sham.
In spite the lack of any clear evidence, several Syrian opposition sources believe that the U.S. was also behind the drone strike in Afrin.