House Democrat: US raid that killed ISIS leader a 'risky success'

House Democrat: US raid that killed ISIS leader a 'risky success'
© Greg Nash

The U.S. military raid in Syria that left an Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) leader dead was a "striking and risky success," a key House Democrat said Sunday.


"Our intelligence was good. But nonetheless, this was an extraordinary risk," Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffDemocrats fear rule of law crumbling under Trump DOJ lawyers resign en masse over Roger Stone sentencing George Conway: We might have to impeach Trump again MORE (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said on CNN's "State of the Union."

Schiff raised the possibility that a member of the U.S. team that carried out the raid inside the ISIS stronghold could have been injured or captured.

"Notwithstanding the success of this operation, we're still going to have to ask those questions – was the intelligence value that we hope to gain, and in fact that we are gaining, worth this kind of risk?" Schiff said.

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said Saturday that the U.S. operation dealt "another significant blow" to ISIS. Abu Sayyaf was killed after "he engaged U.S. forces," Carter added. Abu Sayyaf’s wife, Umm, was captured.

"This is the guy we were trying to get," Schiff said Sunday, noting that Abu Sayyaf was influential in the terror group's oil and gas operations.

"It was a very daring operation in the heart of ISIS-controlled territory," Schiff said.

The Democrat said U.S. troops who carried out the raid "certainly are American boots on the ground" and warned against the U.S. getting "pulled in" to the deadly civil war in Syrian.

Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.), a former Navy SEAL Team Six commander and freshman congressman, similarly praised U.S. forces for the operation, but dinged the Obama administration on its strategy against ISIS.

"We have no plan in Syria on what to do overall," said Zinke, a member of the House Armed Services Committee.