WASHINGTON – The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Special Operations forces are carrying out a “secret” campaign targeting leadership figures of Islamic State jihadist group, alongside the military offensive in Syria, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
The newspaper, citing unnamed senior government officials, said the CIA campaign is aimed at identifying and eliminating specific terrorism suspects.
The clandestine program, which includes drone operations above Syrian territory, was responsible for the death of British militant, Junaid Hussain, one of the main hackers of the IS, among others.
The newspaper points out that the program represents a significant increase in CIA’s involvement in Syria, particularly the agency’s Counterterrorism Center, against a group “many officials believe has eclipsed al-Qaeda as a threat.”
According to The Post, the decision was a result of “rising anxiety among U.S. counterterrorism officials about the danger the Islamic State poses, as well as frustration with the failure of conventional strikes to degrade the group’s strength.”