US raids Syria, kills top IS commander

The top IS official known as Abu Sayyaf was in charge of oil and gas operations. His wife was captured and taken for questioning for her roles in IS activities

Photo credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

US Commandos have mounted a raid in eastern Syria overnight and killed an Islamic State commander in charge of oil fields, the White House said on Saturday. The operation was authorized by President Barack Obama.

The IS commander killed in the operation was identified as Abu Sayyaf, a senior IS member who has been involved in many of the terrorist organization’s military operations in recent years. His wife, Umm Sayyaf, who allegedly played an important role in IS activities, was captured and taken to a US military facility in Iraq for questioning.

Earlier this week, an Iraqi media source identified with the Shia reported that Abu Alaa al-Afri, IS deputy leader, was killed in a coalition airstrike in Iraq. This has not been confirmed by IS, and it may have been reported as an act of revenge against IS for spreading rumors about the death of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

On Thursday, IS published an audio recording which it said was by its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in which he called for supporters all over the world to join the fight in Syria and Iraq. If confirmed, this would be al-Baghdadi’s first message since reports said he was critically wounded in an airstrike in March.

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