US-led airstrike in Iraq kills IS group leader

The strike stems from the group carrying out a twin suicide bombing in Baghdad  

Representational Image | AP

A US-led airstrike killed the leader of the Islamic State group in Iraq on Wednesday. The strike in coalition with Iraqi forces stemmed from the IS resurfacing and carrying out a twin suicide bombing in Baghdad on January 21, The New York Times reports.

The Islamic State group commander, Jabbar Salman Ali Farhan Al-Issawi, 43, known as Abu Yasser, was killed in the strike near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk. A spokesperson of the coalition, Colonel Wayne Marotto, called al-Issawi’s death “a significant blow” to the Islamic State group’s efforts to regroup. “We promised and fulfilled,” Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi tweeted about the strike. “I gave my word to pursue Daesh terrorists, we gave them a thundering response,” he wrote.

Marotto said that Al-Issawi was behind developing and relaying guidance to Islamic State fighters and said the airstrike was carried out with coalition air, intelligence and surveillance support.

Marotto told The Hill, “The Coalition will continue to remove key leaders from the battlefield and degrade the terrorist organisation. Terrorists-you will never live in peace– you will be pursued to the ends of the earth.” According to officials, the Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) had been planning the strike killing Al-Issawi for months. The gathered information by closing-in on lower-level IS leaders in mountain hideouts near Kirkuk. At the height of its power, the ISIS, after declaring Mosul in Iraq as its caliphate in 2014, controlled nearly one-third of Iraqi territory and all Syrian provinces.

Source: The Week

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