US special forces kill senior ISIL leader in Syria: Pentagon

US special forces kill senior ISIL leader in Syria: Pentagon

US special forces kill senior ISIL leader in Syria: Pentagon

Security forces defend their headquarters against attacks by ISIL extremists during sand storm in the eastern part of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, 115 kilometers (70 miles) west of Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, May 14, 2015. AP Photo

U.S. special operations forces have carried out a raid inside Syria, killing a man identified as a senior Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) leader who helped direct the group's oil, gas and financial operations, the Pentagon and White House said on May 16.

The White House said President Barack Obama ordered the raid that killed the man identified as Abu Sayyaf. U.S. officials said his wife, Umm Sayyaf, was captured in the raid and was being held in Iraq.

White House National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said in a statement that U.S. personnel based out of Iraq conducted the operation in al-Amr in eastern Syria.

"During the course of the operation, Abu Sayyaf was killed when he engaged U.S. forces," Meehan said.
"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 said the operation was conducted "with the full consent of Iraqi authorities" and "consistent with domestic and international law".

"The U.S. government did not coordinate with the Syrian regime, nor did we advise them in advance of this operation," she added. "We have warned the Assad regime not to interfere with our ongoing efforts against ISIL inside of Syria.