Abu Sayyaf, a senior commander of ISIS, was killed during a special raid intended to capture him by US operation forces in eastern Syria overnight Friday, US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter told Reuters.
“The raid was launched at the direction of President Barack Obama and all the US troops involved, returned safely. 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,” Carter added.
"Abu Sayyaf was involved in ISIS’ military operations and helped direct the terrorist organization's illicit oil, gas, and financial operations as well," Carter said.
His wife, an Iraqi named Umm Sayyaf, was captured and is currently in military detention in Iraq, National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said in a statement.
“Umm Sayyaf played an important role in ISIS’ terrorist activities, and may have been complicit in what appears to have been the enslavement of a young Yazidi woman rescued last night," Carter said.
According to Reuters, Umm Sayyaf is believed to have been involved in human trafficking and hostage taking.
About a dozen ISIS fighters were killed in the firefight at a residential building in Deir Ezzor.
"This operation was conducted with the full consent of Iraqi authorities and, like our existing air strikes against IS in Syria, consistent with domestic and international law. We are working to determine an ultimate disposition for the detainee that best supports the national security of the US and of our allies and partners. No US personnel were killed or injured during the operations,” the White House said in a statement.