Abu Anas al-Iraqi, the alleged finance chief of ISIS, was killed on Sunday by an elite team of American Commandos. A U.S. special operations unit known as the Expeditionary Targeting Force (ETF) used Syrian intelligence to eliminate the terrorist leader and one other ISIS fighter. An unidentified counter terrorism official told ABC News that the U.S. unit also conducted “sensitive site exploitation,” meaning they searched the area for documents and electronic devices with intelligence value.
The unidentified counter terrorism official commented on the significance of al-Iraqi’s death.
“He was a top ISIS emir,” he said, emir being a title meaning “leader” to jihadis. Al-Iraqi oversaw the group’s armory and collection of explosive devices. Funds and items were derived from extortion, kidnapping and ransom, taxation in occupied territories, oil and gas sales and illicit trafficking.
On Monday, Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis confirmed that there was a successful routine U.S. special operations raid by the ETF in Dayr az Zawr, Syria. Dayr az Zawr is where al-Iraqi was reportedly killed, according to the unidentified official. However, the Pentagon and CIA are both reluctant to confirm al- Iraqi’s death due to past instances were ISIS leaders were falsely reported to be dead, only to continue fighting for weeks.
Davis denied social media allegations that the mission on Sunday was intended to rescues hostages or capture jihadis. Al-Iraqi was reportedly killed after a U.S. special operations helicopter was fired upon by the occupants of a vehicle outside Dayr az Zawr. All three occupants of the vehicle, including al-Iraqi, were killed when the helicopter returned fire.