The U.S. expressed great satisfaction with their daring military actions in which they assassinated a top ISIS official, Abu Sayyaf.
Photo Credit: Channel 2 News/Reuters
Less than a day after the successful military operation of the United States forces in Syria, new details were revealed about the identity of the target, Abu Sayyaf, who was called the “oil minister” of ISIS. U.S. officials expressed satisfaction with their achievements, while experts on the war with terror wonder if the man, who was considered only a mid-level commander, was significant enough to send in commando troops for a dangerous ground operation.
Abu Sayyaf, originally a Tunisian citizen, went to Iraq in 2003. After the fall of Saddam Hussein, he joined the ranks of the terrorist organizations operating in the country, eventually becoming a member of ISIS and moving up the ranks, in part because of his expertise in the field of oil and gas. “You could describe him as the CFO of the organization,” a senior U.S. defense official explained to CNN. According to him, Sayyaf recently began to receive additional responsibilities in the area of operations, planning, and communication of the murderous terrorist organization.
In an interview with the New York Times, a source from the U.S. government explained that the purpose of the operation, which was confirmed by President Obama himself, was to capture Abu Sayyaf in order to retrieve significant information about the organization’s activities. “According to the plan, he was supposed to be taken for questioning in Iraq, and then sent to the United States where he would be sentenced in a criminal court if the authorities were able to build a case against him,” said the U.S. official.
On the other hand, analysts explained that Abu Sayyaf was only a mid-level commander, something that is raising doubts regarding the necessity of the bold American operation. One interviewee of the New York Times compared it to the auditor of Al Capone – a person with knowledge of the economic activity, but not that can stop the terrorist activities of the organization. “He can be replaced easily and quickly,” said the experts.
Photo Credit: Channel 2 News/Reuters
More than 20 soldiers from the elite U.S. army unit, Delta Force, participated in the raid near Deir a-Zur in Syria. They were met with massive fire from ISIS fighters who guarded the compound where the target was located. Abu Sayyaf and his bodyguards used women and children who were in the area, but the forces managed to avoid harming any innocent people. The terrorist was shot and killed, his wife was taken prisoner, and a Yazidi woman who was described as a slave was set free. The wife of the terrorist, Um Sayyaf, was taken for questioning by the forces on the ground.
Although they did not manage to capture Sayyaf alive, the American commando fighters collected a lot of material, computers, and documents that may be of value in attempting to learn about the organization. “We now have reams of data about the way ISIS works, communicates with its fighters, and earns the money that drives the fighting in Iraq and Syria,” said a senior U.S. official who expressed his satisfaction with the achievements of the bold operation.
In an announcement after publication of the operation, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said that the organization suffered a significant blow. “Abu Sayyaf was involved in the planning of military operations for ISIS and in all parts of the finances,” he said. According to him, the operation serves as a reminder to the world that the U.S. will not hesitate to take action in the future against terrorists who threaten world peace.