Last night, at the direction of the Commander in Chief, I ordered U.S. Special Operations Forces to conduct an operation in al-Amr in eastern Syria to capture an ISIL senior leader known as Abu Sayyaf and his wife Umm Sayyaf. Abu Sayyaf was involved in ISIL's military operations and helped direct the terrorist organization's illicit oil, gas, and financial operations as well.
Abu Sayyaf was killed during the course of the operation when he engaged U.S. forces.
U.S. forces captured Umm Sayyaf, who we suspect is a member of ISIL, played an important role in ISIL's terrorist activities, and may have been complicit in what appears to have been the enslavement of a young Yezidi woman rescued last night.
No U.S. forces were killed or injured during this operation.
The operation represents another significant blow to ISIL, and it is a reminder that the United States will never waver in denying safe haven to terrorists who threaten our citizens, and those of our friends and allies.
I thank the extraordinary men and women in uniform who executed this complex and challenging mission, along with all those who supported it. Their professionalism, dedication, and valor are a deep source of pride and inspiration to us all.
It's just as well that we killed him. After all, where could we keep him?
I wonder where the operation staged from? Turkey? Jordan? Iraq's Kurdish region? Ships in the Mediterranean?
I'll guess Jordan, given their king's recent resolve to hurt ISIL.
UPDATE: Perhaps this activity was related to the Syria operation rather than a "second front."
UPDATE: Ah. The Army Delta Force operation staged from Iraq itself. I honestly didn't think we could manage operational security staging from Iraqi territory (outside of the Kurdish region, that is).