An Islamic State commander was killed overnight by U.S. forces in a rare ground operation inside Syrian borders.
Abu Sayyaf was killed and his wife was captured in a U.S. commando operation that also rescued a Yazidi woman held as a slave, The Associated Press reported Saturday, quoting Pentagon officials.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter said no U.S. troops were killed in the operation.
Syrian state media also reported Saturday that in the Omar oil field, the same region that the U.S. commandos carried out their operation, Syrian troops killed at least 40 Islamic State fighters, including a senior terrorist leader identified as Abu al-Teem al-Saudi.
Though U.S. officials say they do not cooperate with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government in attacks against the Islamic State, they do inform the government beforehand of operations within Syrian borders, according the AP.
The U.S. National Security Council released a statement Saturday calling Sayyaf a “senior ISIL leader who, among other things, had a senior role in overseeing ISIL’s illicit oil and gas operations — a key source of revenue that enables the terrorist organization to carry out their brutal tactics and oppress thousands of innocent civilians,” the AP reported.
The statement said President Obama authorized the strike with the “unanimous recommendation” of his national security team.
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