May 2015 U.S. special forces raid in Syria

2015 U.S. special forces raid in Syria
Part of the Military intervention against ISIL (Foreign involvement in the Syrian Civil War)
Date15 May 2015
Locational-Amr, Deir ez-Zor Governorate, Syria
Result American victory

 United States
Supported by:

 United Kingdom (surveillance)
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Commanders and leaders
United States Barack Obama Abu Sayyaf  
Umm Sayyaf  (POW)
1st SFOD-Delta
UH-60 Black Hawk and V-22 Osprey aircraft
Unknown precisely;
Military of ISIL
Casualties and losses
None 31+ fighters killed
1 Yazidi slave freed

On 15 May 2015, 1st SFOD-Delta operators from the Joint Special Operations Command based in Iraq conducted an operation in Al-Amr, Syria to capture a senior Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) leader named Abu Sayyaf, resulting in his death when he engaged United States forces in combat, after his location was confirmed by surveillance from British SAS operators.[1][2] Abu Sayyaf role in ISIL was managing its gas and oil operations; he had built up a network of traders and wholesalers of ISIL-controlled oil that he helped triple energy revenues for the terror group. His other duties for the group included approving expenses to cover the upkeep of slaves, rebuilding oil facilities damaged by airstrikes and counting of revenue.[3] The wife of Abu Sayyaf, Umm Sayyaf was captured and is currently held by U.S. Forces in Iraq. The operation also led to the freeing of a Yazidi woman who was held as a slave. About a dozen ISIL fighters were also killed in the raid, two US officials said.[4] The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that an additional 19 ISIL fighters were killed in the US airstrikes that accompanied the raid. One official said that ISIL Forces fired at the U.S. aircraft, and there was reportedly hand-to-hand combat during the raid. Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft were used to conduct the raid.

Intelligence discovered in the raid revealed how ISIL was funding itself through the group’s construction of a multinational oil operation with help from terrorist-group executives determined to maximize profits. The intelligence also showed how the organization deals with the Syrian regime, handles corruption allegations among top officials and most critically, how international coalition strikes have dented but not destroyed ISIS income. Defense Secretary Ash Carter called the raid a “significant blow” against Islamic State and heralded the death of the terror group’s No. 2 oil executive.[5]

The raid was also a test for a new strategy of "targeted killing" for the Expeditionary Targeting Force.[6]

See also


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