US raid kills senior ISIL commander: Official

United States Special Operation forces have conducted a raid in eastern Syria, killing a senior commander of the ISIL Takfiri terrorist group, a US official says.

“Last night, at the president’s direction, US personnel based out of Iraq conducted an operation in al-Amr in eastern Syria to capture an ISIL senior leader known as Abu Sayyaf and his wife Umm Sayyaf,” said Bernadette Meehan, spokeswoman for the US National Security Council, on Saturday.

However, Sayyaf “was killed during the course of the operation when he engaged US forces,” Meehan added.

Sayyaf was in charge of ISIL’ oil and gas operations and was directly involved in the terrorist group’s command and control.

The American forces managed to capture Umm Sayyaf, an Iraqi national, and took her to Iraq for interrogation.

“Umm Sayyaf is currently in US military detention in Iraq,” Meehan said.

She added that the US forces also freed a woman, who has been held by Sayyaf and his wife.

“The operation also led to the freeing of a young Yazidi woman who appears to have been held as a slave by the couple. We intend to reunite her with her family as soon as feasible,” Meehan explained.

The ISIL terrorists, who were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, now control large parts of Iraq and Syria.

Washington has launched hundreds of airstrikes against the ISIL militants in Iraq and Syria, which analysts regard as part of the US attempts to gradually spread its influence in the region.

Reports say thousands of private security contractors are being asked by the US government to consider joining the fight against ISIL in Iraq and Syria and possibly elsewhere in the Middle East.

By Press TV