The firefight that killed ISIS official Abu Sayyaf by U.S. Special Operations is a major achievement and long overdue against the ISIS leadership. Sayyaf's wife, Umm Sayyaf, was captured during the firefight and is currently in Iraqi military detention. There are implications of the killing that go beyond the role of the couple in ISIS’s economic operations.
Interestingly, the operation is highly reminiscent of the killing of Abu Mussab Al-Zarqawi in June 2006. It is not so much the method of the killing as it is for the significance. Al-Zarqawi of course is known as the head of Al-Qaeda Iraq, the precursor to today’s ISIS. Al-Zarqawi played a major role in a number of key operations back in the 2000s in Iraq. Just as targeting Al Zarqawi to “cut off the head of the snake” the SOF operation killing Abu Sayyaf meant to not only illuminate a battlefield commander but also kill part of ISIS’s economic model of illicit criminal activity including oil sales and slavery.
now that Delta Forces have been used in Syria, Operation Inherent Resolve actually has real teeth