On Friday night, U.S commandos entered Syria and killed senior Islamic State commander Abu Sayyaf. U.S. forces, took his wife, Umm Sayyaf, in custody during the operation.
Abu Sayyaf was involved in Islamic State military operations and also helped direct the terrorist organization's illicit oil, gas and financial operations. No U.S. forces were killed or injured during the operation.
“Last night, at the direction of the Commander in Chief, I ordered U.S. special operations forces to conduct an operation in al-Amr in eastern Syria to capture an ISIL senior leader known as Abu Sayyaf and his wife Umm Sayyaf.
“Abu Sayyaf was killed during the course of the operation when he engaged U.S. forces.
“U.S. forces captured Umm Sayyaf, who we suspect is a member of ISIL, played an important role in ISIL's terrorist activities, and may have been complicit in what appears to have been the enslavement of a young Yezidi woman rescued last night.
“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.
“I thank the extraordinary men and women in uniform who executed this complex and challenging mission, along with all those who supported it. Their professionalism, dedication, and valor are a deep source of pride and inspiration to us all,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said.
"Abu Sayyaf was a senior ISIL leader who, among other things, had a senior role in overseeing ISIL’s illicit oil and gas operations – a key source of revenue that enables the terrorist organization to carry out their brutal tactics and oppress thousands of innocent civilians. He was also involved with the group’s military operations. We suspect that Umm Sayyaf is a member of ISIL, played an important role in ISIL’s terrorist activities, and may have been complicit in the enslavement of the young woman rescued last night.
"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. This operation was conducted with the full consent of Iraqi authorities and, like our existing airstrikes against ISIL in Syria, consistent with domestic and international law.
"We are working to determine an ultimate disposition for the detainee that best supports the national security of the United States and of our allies and partners, consistent with domestic and international law. We will follow our usual practice with respect to giving the ICRC notification and access to the detainee.
"As Commander-in-Chief, the President is grateful to the brave U.S. personnel who carried out this complex mission as well as the Iraqi authorities for their support of the operation and for the use of their facilities, which contributed to its success. The United States will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our Iraqi partners in our effort to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL," NSC spokesman Bernadette Meehan in a statement.
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