Joint Syria Raid Killed ISIS Oil Official Who Financed Sleeper Cells
By Chad Garland
IRBIL, Iraq -- An Islamic State group official who oversaw oil and gas operations and helped finance sleeper cells was killed last week in a joint coalition special operations raid with Syrian partner forces, the military said.
The ISIS official known by the pseudonym Abu al-Ward al-Iraqi was killed along with another militant who officials have not yet identified during the raid in Deir al-Zour province on Jan. 14, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said in a statement on Sunday.
Al-Iraqi's death "disrupts and degrades" ISIS's ability to finance terrorist activities in the Middle Euphrates River Valley along the Iraq-Syria border, said U.S. Army Col. Myles B. Caggins III, a military spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, via email.
It's among the latest takedowns of top ISIS leaders since the killing in late October of the group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, but it comes as the future of the coalition's continued presence in Iraq remains uncertain, which some fear could allow the group to resurge.