First US ground operation in Syria kills ISIS oil chief - as Islamists advance on three new fronts
DEBKAfile Special Report May 16, 2015
America’s first ground operation in the five years of Syrian war was directed against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - ISIS. US sources report that Special Operations forces mounted a raid Saturday, May 16, on an ISIS house in the Deir a-Zour district of eastern Syria, and killed senior Islamist commander and oil and gas chief, Abu Sayyaf, when he resisted capture. His Iraqi wife, Umm Sayyaf, was taken to Iraq for interrogation by the US troops, all of whom returned safely.
Abu Sayyaf’s importance for the Islamist group cannot be overrated as the man in charge of its commandeered oil fields in Syria and Iraq. He also managed their overseas sales in a thriving black market, netting an estimated $5million a day for bankrolling the group’s wars.
Debkafile’s military sources report that the US raid was staged from Jordan, not Iraq. In normal circumstances, the Jordanians don’t permit US ground or air operations to be staged directly from their territory. However, a joint 10-day US-Jordanian war game, Eager Lion, was in progress in the Hashemite Kingdom. Some 10,000 troops from various countries, including the US, were practicing special operations against ISIS. And so the US unit was ready to hand a short distance from a high-value target at Deir a-Zour.
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Feb 25, 2019 14:05:45 GMT -5