Syria raid provided roadmap for ISIS strikes

Intelligence gleaned from a special operations raid in May that killed a senior Islamic State leader in Syria has allowed forces to better target the sources of income that help keep it afloat, special envoy John Allen said Wednesday.

"We took from the raid seven terabytes of information — hard drives, thumb drives, DVDs, CDs, paper — and the exploitation of that material is giving us very important insights into the organization of [the Islamic State] and its economic portfolio," the retired Marine general told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"It was from information yielded in this raid that our coalition aircraft hit 26 targets just last week in Syria and Iraq, including most importantly the Omar oilfield in Deir ez-Zor, which yielded [the Islamic State] up to $5 million per month."

The treasure trove of information captured in the raid was one of the reasons cited by Defense Secretary Ash Carter when he announced Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee that U.S. special operations forces will conduct more such ground combat operations when opportunities arise, increasing the risk of casualties, but also potentially increasing pressure on the extremist group.