Us officials on Saturday issued a statement that the American Special Operation Forces killed a senior Islamic state leader, who helped direct the group’s oil, gas and financial operations during a raid in eastern Syria.
This was the first known US special forces operation inside Syria apart from a failed secret effort to rescue a number of US and other foreign hostages held by Islamic State in northeastern Syria last year.
The White house reported, that the president Barack Obama ordered the overnight raid that killed the man identified as Abu Sayyaf. US officials said his wife, Umm Sayyaf, was captured in the raid and was being held in Iraq.
“During the course of the operation, Abu Sayyaf was killed when he engaged US forces,” White House National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said in a statement.
“The president authorized this operation upon the unanimous recommendation of his national security team and as soon as we had developed sufficient intelligence and were confident the mission could be carried out successfully and consistent with the requirements for undertaking such operations,” Meehan said.
Meehan justified that the operation was conducted “with the full consent of Iraqi authorities” and “consistent with domestic and international law.”
The White House said the US did not inform Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government in advance of the raid, or coordinate with Damascus. Shortly before the US announcement, Syrian state television said the Syrian army killed an Islamic State leader responsible for oil-related affairs, identifying him as Abu al-Taym al-Saudi.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter said that US special operations forces conducted the operation targeting Abu Sayyaf and his wife. Carter said Abu Sayyaf was involved in the militant organization’s military operations and helped direct its “illicit oil, gas and financial operations as well.”
Carter claimed that the wife played an important role in ISIL’s terrorist activities. She is now in US military detention in Iraq. He further added that no US forces were killed or wounded in the operation, the India Today reports.
“The operation represents another significant blow to ISIL, and it is a reminder that the United States will never waver in denying safe haven to terrorists who threaten our citizens, and those of our friends and allies,” Carter said, using an acronym for the Islamic State organization.