How to Kill without Collateral Damage

When a kill is really important we do it without collateral damage because we use a person, not a machine, and we use precision.

The story reported by the Stars & Stripe: “US commandos kill senior Islamic State figure in Syria raid.”

U.S. commandos killed a senior Islamic State leader during a Friday night raid inside Syria, where U.S. special operations forces also captured the militant’s wife and rescued an enslaved young woman, the Pentagon announced Saturday.

President Barack Obama ordered the mission into the eastern Syrian city of al-Amr, where the target was a senior leader known as Abu Sayyaf and his wife Umm Sayyaf.

“Abu Sayyaf was killed during the course of the operation when he engaged U.S. forces,” Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said in a statement Saturday. Sayyaf was involved in the Islamic State group’s military operations and helped direct the terrorist organization’s illicit oil, gas, and financial operations as well, Carter said.

Army Delta Force troops traveling in from Iraq aboard  V-22 Osprey and Black Hawk helicopters, engaged in a “fairly intense” firefight that included hand-to-hand combat, a defense official told The Associated Press. About a dozen militants were killed in the raid. No civilians were killed, though  women and children were present during the fight, the AP reported.

Sayyaf’s wife, who was taken into custody, also was believed to be an active member of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, and played an important role in the group’s terrorist activities, Carter said. She also may have been complicit in the apparent enslavement of a young Yezidi who was rescued by U.S. forces during the raid.

No U.S. forces were killed or injured during the operation, Carter stated.

If you’re convinced a bad guy needs to go (and I won’t address that angle here), this is how it’s done—no drone strike that murders scores of innocent people.

Kudos to our young warriors for taking down the target, while capturing the wife and rescuing a hostage. Also, a big thumb’s up to leadership for maybe… just maybe… possibly… having begun to consider the immorality of drones, which are akin to using a tactical nuke to accomplish what a sniper should do.