US commandos kill senior Islamic State commander in Syria raid

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BEIRUT (AP) — The Pentagon says U.S. commandos have mounted a rare raid in eastern Syria, killing a senior Islamic State commander in a firefight and capturing his wife. Officials say the commandos also rescued a Yazidi woman who apparently was being held as a slave.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced the raid and identified the militant as Abu Sayyaf. Carter said no U.S. forces were killed or injured in the operation. A U.S.-led coalition has been striking Islamic State militants in Syria since last year, but this is only the second time troops have carried out a ground raid. A previous operation was aimed at rescuing Americans held hostage by the group. A statement from the U.S. National Security Council said Abu Sayyaf was a “senior ISIL leader who, among other things, had a senior role in overseeing ISIL’s illicit oil and gas operations.” It said he was also involved with the group’s military operations.

The statement said President Barack Obama authorized the operation upon the “unanimous recommendation” of his national security team.

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