Was The Killing Of The IS Oil Minister A Combined Syrian-U.S. Operation?By Moon Of Alabama
Compare these two success announcements about the killing of an alleged Islamic State oil functionary:
Reuters Sat May 16, 2015 7:30am EDT:
Syrian army kills Islamic State's "oil minister"-state TV
May 16 The Syrian army has killed an Islamic State leader responsible for oil-related affairs along with 40 other militants in an attack in the eastern province of Deir al-Zor, Syrian state media reported. A news flash on state TV identified Islamic State's "oil minister" as Abu al-Taym al-Saudi. It said he had been killed in a special operation in the Omar oil field, Syria's largest, which Islamic State captured from rival insurgents last July.U.S. National Security Council press release Sat May 16, 2015 8:19am EDT
Last night, at the President’s direction, U.S. personnel based out of Iraq conducted an operation in al-Amr in eastern Syria to capture an ISIL senior leader known as Abu Sayyaf and his wife Umm Sayyaf. During the course of the operation, Abu Sayyaf was killed when he engaged U.S. forces.It is usual that people in the Arab language world are identified by multiple names. "Abu al-Taym al-Saudi" might well be also known as "Abu Sayyaf". The "Omar oilfield" may also be written as "al-Amr".
Abu Sayyaf was a senior ISIL leader who, among other things, had a senior role in overseeing ISIL’s illicit oil and gas operations – a key source of revenue that enables the terrorist organization to carry out their brutal tactics and oppress thousands of innocent civilians.
This operation was conducted with the full consent of Iraqi authorities ..
A later update of the Reuters/SANA version added this paragraph
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based organisation that tracks the war, said around 19 Islamic State members had been killed in an air strike on the oil field. Twelve of the dead were foreign fighters, it said.So what was this? A combined operation of U.S. and Syrian special forces coordinated through Baghdad? An airstrike by either side? Or did one side, the Syrian government or the U.S. administration, "steal" the success from the other side for their own propaganda purpose?
We know that the story the U.S. told over the Bin Laden killing was almost completely false. We therefore have reason to doubt the truthfulness of the NSC statement. The Syrian SANA news agency may not be the most accurate source either but here it was the first to announce the raid. SOHR, while paid by the "west", has proven to be at least somewhat independent. We will need more information before we can really stitch up the story. My bet for now is on a combined Syrian-U.S. operation that neither side has interest in to publicize in full.
Syrian forces kill 40 IS militants in Deir al-Zour: The Syrian government forces killed as many as 40 militants with the Islamic State (IS) group, including a commander responsible for oil-related affairs, in a "qualitative" operation in the oil-rich province of Deir al-Zour in eastern Syria, the official Syrian TV reported Saturday.
Boots on the ground: U.S. Special Forces kill "top ISIS commander" in Syria raid: Secret Syria raid ends with death of up to 40 jihadists and capture of chief's WIFE who trafficked Yazidis. Abu Sayyaf, the extremist group's 'Oil Minister', was killed in a firefight in eastern Syria today by special forces authorised by President Barack Obama, the Pentagon confirmed.