Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
The flag of ISIS.

On Friday night, May 15, the elite U.S. Army’s Delta Force commandos killed a leader of the barbaric Islamic jihadi group ISIS in a raid in Syria, National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said.

The team, based in Iraq, killed abu Sayyaf and captured his wife, Umm Sayyaf. They also freed a Yezidi woman who had allegedly been held by the couple as a slave. The raid took place near the eastern Syrian city of al-Amr. President Obama was said to have ordered the raid.


U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said the operation represented “another significant blow” and that “it is a reminder hat the United States will never waver in denying safe heaven to terrorists who threaten our citizens, and those of our friends and allies.”

Sayyaf was believed to be directly involved in many ISIS military activities and funding. Carter said Sayyaf directed ISIS’s “illicit oil, gas and financial operations.” The New York Times, however, referred Sayyaf as merely a “mid-level leader in the organization” who “can be easily replaced.”

Apparently the original goal of the operation was to capture Abu Sayyaf in order to learn more about ISIS operations. As soon as the U.S. commandos landed near the building they believed contained their target’s residence, fighting broke out. In all, at least a dozen terrorists were killed, including Abu Sayyaf, according to a Defense official, as reported in the Washington Post.

Now ISIS and its supporters are vowing revenge. “If they took Abu Sayyaf, we will take Obama,”threatened an ISIS supporter.

“If your goal is killing Abu Sayyaf then our goal is killing Obama and the worshippers of the cross. We have attacks coming against you,” an ISIS member tweeted, according to the news site Vocativ.

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Lori Lowenthal Marcus is a contributor to the A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: [email protected]