US Tries to Capture ISIS Honcho, Kills Him

Abu Sayyaf helped direct ISIS' oil, gas, financial operations
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2015 8:41 AM CDT
US Tries to Capture ISIS Honcho, Kills Him
This file photo shows US Special Operations forces.   (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, File)

(Newser) – Last night, US Special Operations attempted to capture a senior ISIS commander and his wife in Syria. The rare raid didn't go as planned. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter today said that Abu Sayyaf fought back and was killed; the US troops involved were unharmed. They did manage to capture wife Umm Sayyaf, who is being held in Iraq. CNN notes that "Abu Sayyaf is not a name familiar to many ISIS watchers." Carter gave context: "Abu Sayyaf was involved in ISIL's military operations and helped direct the terrorist organization's illicit oil, gas, and financial operations as well."

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NBC News reports that a young Yazidi woman had apparently been enslaved by the couple; she was rescued. The raid, which took place in al-Amr, was carried out on orders of the president, which were given on the "unanimous recommendation" of his national security team. The AP notes this is only the second time troops have carried out a ground raid in Syria. A previous operation was aimed at rescuing James Foley and other Americans held hostage by the group. (Read more ISIS stories.)

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