US raid in Syria kills 'senior Islamic State leader'

A suspected Islamic State senior leader has been killed in a Special Ops raid in Syria, US Secretary of Defence has said.

The mission - sanctioned by Barack Obama - was intended merely to capture Abu Sayyaf, who the US said helped direct "illict oil, gas and financial operations".

However, the suspected militant was killed when he engaged US personnel in combat, the White House said.

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US and allies in 22 air strikes on Islamic State targets

The US military said America and its allies have staged 22 air strikes on Islamic State targets since Friday, including four near Ramadi, the city taken by the militants last week.

Coalition forces also attacked five Islamic State sites in Syria between Friday and Saturday, a statement from the Combined Joint Task Force said. The strikes near Ramadi hit tactical units, armored vehicles and a fighting position in militant-controlled territory.

Commandos in hand-to-hand combat during IS raid

The Islamic State flag. Credit: Reuters

US commandos engaged in hand-to-hand combat with Islamic State fighters during a raid that saw a suspected commander of the militant group killed, according to officials.

New details have been disclosed about the raid, which was ordered by President Barack Obama and had been planned for several weeks.

Delta Force commandos used UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and V22-2 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft to punch deep into eastern Syria from Iraq.

Abu Sayyaf, the suspected IS senior figure targeted in the attack, was described as being heavily involved in the group's black-market sales of oil and gas to raise funds.

The mission was the first known US special forces mission inside Syria since a failed mission last year to rescue a number of hostages held by Islamic State in the north of the country.


'Yazidi slave' freed in raid on suspected IS militant

US Special Ops forces involved in a deadly raid on a suspected Islamic State and his wife freed a Yazidi woman who "appears to have been held as a slave" by the couple, the US Secretary of Defence says.

Ash Carter said the wife of the man killed - suspected IS militant Abu Sayyef - also "played an important role" in the group's activities.

He added that the wife was now being held in US military detention in Iraq.

White House: US did not advise Syria in advance of raid

White House officials have said that the US did not advise the Syrian government in advance or coordinate with it on a special ops raid in which an Islamic State leader Abu Sayyaf was killed and his wife was captured and taken to Iraq.

"The U.S. government did not coordinate with the Syrian regime, nor did we advise them in advance of this operation," said a White House National Security Council spokeswoman.

"We have warned the Assad regime not to interfere with our ongoing efforts against ISIL inside of Syria," she said, using an alternative acronym for Islamic State.

"The Assad regime is not and cannot be a partner in the fight against ISIL."

Obama 'authorised' Syria raid mission based on intel

A US National Security council spokesperson said in a statement that a Special Ops mission in Syria was "authorised by the President" Barack Obama.

The President authorised 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.

This operation was conducted with the full consent of Iraqi authorities and, like our existing airstrikes against ISIL in Syria, consistent with domestic and international law.

– US National Security council spokesperson


US Defence chief: 'IS senior leader' killed in raid

Defence Secretary Ash Carter said the raid took place overnight. Credit: Reuters

The US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter has issued a statement on the Special Ops raid in Syria saying that Abu Sayyaf has been killed.

Carter said that Abu Sayyaf helped direct IS "illicit oil, gas, and financial operations as well". US forces captured his wife Umm Sayyaf who is being kept in military detention in Iraq.

Last night, at the direction of the Commander in Chief, I ordered US Special Operations Forces to conduct an operation in al-Amr in eastern Syria to capture an ISIL senior leader known as Abu Sayyaf and his wife Umm Sayyaf. Abu Sayyaf was involved in ISIL's military operations and helped direct the terrorist organisation's illicit oil, gas, and financial operations as well.

Abu Sayyaf was killed during the course of the operation when he engaged US forces.

US forces captured Umm Sayyaf, who we suspect is a member of ISIL, played an important role in ISIL's terrorist activities, and may have been complicit in what appears to have been the enslavement of a young Yezidi woman rescued last night.

– US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter

Report: US Special Ops 'kill Islamic State commander'

US Military Special Operations forces have carried out a raid inside Syria and have killed a senior Islamic State Commander, CNN has reported citing unnamed sources.

US commandos flew into eastern Syria. Credit: Google Maps

The network reports that US commandos flew into eastern Syria to carry out the raid. US Defence Secretary Ash Carter said that US Special Ops targeted Islamic State leader Abu Sayyaf.

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