By Sarah Rovinsky
The Pentagon and White House announced on Saturday morning, May 16, that U.S. special operations forces killed an Islamic State leader, who helped direct the group’s oil, gas and financial operations, during a raid in eastern Syria. President Obama ordered the raid that killed Abu Sayyaf, the ISIS commander. A U.S. official 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 U.S. forces,” said White House National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan to the Huffington Post. “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 the operation was conducted “with the full consent of Iraqi authorities” and was “consistent with domestic and international law.” However, retaliation from the terrorist group is possible.