In ISIS raid, Special operators hit the motherlode of intel

The special operations raid that took out a mid-level Islamic State planner and facilitator also garnered a huge cache of valuable intelligence.

In fact, the terrorist - Abu Sayyaf - was not a high valued target himself, despite White House claims to the contrary. Sayyaf's value lies in the records he kept on financing ISIS and their smuggling networks.

CNN:

But Michael Weiss, author of "ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror," said Abu Sayyaf was largely unknown to close observers of the organization.

Weiss said he's skeptical the United States would risk lives to capture the head of ISIS's oil operations. ISIS hasn't made significant money from captured oil fields since U.S. bombers began striking its infrastructure, he said.

Carter: ISIS raid a 'significant blow' to terror group

A Pentagon spokesman confirmed in February that oil is no longer a main source of revenue for ISIS.

But risking American lives to capture Abu Sayyaf makes sense to Derek Harvey, a former U.S. Army colonel, intelligence officer and the director of the Global Initiative for Civil Society and Conflict at the University of South Florida.

"The most important thing about the raid is not getting Abu Sayyaf; it's getting his records," Harvey said.

Harvey asserted that Sayyaf was one of ISIS's top financiers, with likely access to the group's contacts with banks, donors, Turkish and Lebanese business interests as well as links to criminal and smuggling networks.

Harvey said Sayyaf had undeniable value as a target because ISIS is also a business.

"They're meticulous record-keepers," he said.

Meehan's statement added that Obama is "grateful to the brave U.S. personnel who carried out this complex mission as well as the Iraqi authorities for their support of the operation and for the use of their facilities, which contributed to its success."

Meehan said the U.S. did not coordinate with nor advise Syria in advance of the operation.

"We have warned the Assad regime not to interfere with our ongoing efforts against ISIL inside of Syria," she said, adding that the "brutal actions of the regime have aided and abetted the rise of ISIL and other extremists in Syria."

Abu Sayyaf's wife was captured alive, and it's hoped she can shed some light on where western hostages are being held. She was taken to Iraq to be interrogated.

An outstanding, textbook operation by Delta Force resulted in the deaths of not only Sayyaf, but 3 other ISIS bigwigs, and about 19 other ISIS fighters. They got in, put the wood to the terorists, gathered all the intel they could, and then got out without any casualties.

The U.S. forces blew a hole in the side of the building, entered through the hole and encountered more ISIS fighters, the source said.

ISIS combatants tried to use human shields, but U.S. troops managed to kill the fighters without hurting the women and children, the official said without elaborating.

One of the Blackhawk helicopters took a couple of rounds of fire but was airworthy and took off, the source said.

The U.S. forces had an Arabic interpreter with them. They came across ancient artifacts in the building, including coins, which they are examining now, the source said.

About a dozen ISIS fighters were killed in the firefight at a residential building in Deir Ezzor, the sources said. A senior administration official told CNN the purpose of the mission was to capture the target, but he engaged U.S. forces so was killed.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based monitoring group, said at least 19 ISIS militants had been killed by coalition bombing targeting ISIS' location in al-Omar oil field in eastern Deir Ezzor.

Preliminary information indicates that the U.S.-led coalition airdropped forces following the bombardment, it said.

There may be more to this story than the military and the White House are letting on. Was it worth sending a couple dozen special operators hundreds of miles behind the lines to take out a mid level terrorist? Perhaps there is some specific intel for which Sayyaf would have been a valuable resource. At any rate, we've got his records and his wife. Not a bad haul for Delta Force.

 

The special operations raid that took out a mid-level Islamic State planner and facilitator also garnered a huge cache of valuable intelligence.

In fact, the terrorist - Abu Sayyaf - was not a high valued target himself, despite White House claims to the contrary. Sayyaf's value lies in the records he kept on financing ISIS and their smuggling networks.

CNN:

But Michael Weiss, author of "ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror," said Abu Sayyaf was largely unknown to close observers of the organization.

Weiss said he's skeptical the United States would risk lives to capture the head of ISIS's oil operations. ISIS hasn't made significant money from captured oil fields since U.S. bombers began striking its infrastructure, he said.

Carter: ISIS raid a 'significant blow' to terror group

A Pentagon spokesman confirmed in February that oil is no longer a main source of revenue for ISIS.

But risking American lives to capture Abu Sayyaf makes sense to Derek Harvey, a former U.S. Army colonel, intelligence officer and the director of the Global Initiative for Civil Society and Conflict at the University of South Florida.

"The most important thing about the raid is not getting Abu Sayyaf; it's getting his records," Harvey said.

Harvey asserted that Sayyaf was one of ISIS's top financiers, with likely access to the group's contacts with banks, donors, Turkish and Lebanese business interests as well as links to criminal and smuggling networks.

Harvey said Sayyaf had undeniable value as a target because ISIS is also a business.

"They're meticulous record-keepers," he said.

Meehan's statement added that Obama is "grateful to the brave U.S. personnel who carried out this complex mission as well as the Iraqi authorities for their support of the operation and for the use of their facilities, which contributed to its success."

Meehan said the U.S. did not coordinate with nor advise Syria in advance of the operation.

"We have warned the Assad regime not to interfere with our ongoing efforts against ISIL inside of Syria," she said, adding that the "brutal actions of the regime have aided and abetted the rise of ISIL and other extremists in Syria."

Abu Sayyaf's wife was captured alive, and it's hoped she can shed some light on where western hostages are being held. She was taken to Iraq to be interrogated.

An outstanding, textbook operation by Delta Force resulted in the deaths of not only Sayyaf, but 3 other ISIS bigwigs, and about 19 other ISIS fighters. They got in, put the wood to the terorists, gathered all the intel they could, and then got out without any casualties.

The U.S. forces blew a hole in the side of the building, entered through the hole and encountered more ISIS fighters, the source said.

ISIS combatants tried to use human shields, but U.S. troops managed to kill the fighters without hurting the women and children, the official said without elaborating.

One of the Blackhawk helicopters took a couple of rounds of fire but was airworthy and took off, the source said.

The U.S. forces had an Arabic interpreter with them. They came across ancient artifacts in the building, including coins, which they are examining now, the source said.

About a dozen ISIS fighters were killed in the firefight at a residential building in Deir Ezzor, the sources said. A senior administration official told CNN the purpose of the mission was to capture the target, but he engaged U.S. forces so was killed.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based monitoring group, said at least 19 ISIS militants had been killed by coalition bombing targeting ISIS' location in al-Omar oil field in eastern Deir Ezzor.

Preliminary information indicates that the U.S.-led coalition airdropped forces following the bombardment, it said.

There may be more to this story than the military and the White House are letting on. Was it worth sending a couple dozen special operators hundreds of miles behind the lines to take out a mid level terrorist? Perhaps there is some specific intel for which Sayyaf would have been a valuable resource. At any rate, we've got his records and his wife. Not a bad haul for Delta Force.