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Pentagon claims 3 top Daesh commanders killed in airstrikes

May 26, 2017 at 3:40 pm

Debris of buildings are seen after airstrikess hit Syria [Anadolu]

Three senior Daesh military leaders and planners were killed in coalition attacks in Iraq and Syria over the past two months, the coalition fighting the militants said in a statement released by the Pentagon on Friday.

Mustafa Gunes, a Daesh operative from Turkey, was killed in an airstrike in Mayadin, Syria, on 27 April, the statement said. He was reportedly identified as a Daesh recruiter in the central Turkish city of Konya, with the Pentagon claiming that he was involved in financing operations outside Iraq and Syria against the west.

Abu Asim Al-Jazaeri, a French-Algerian Daesh external operations planner, was also killed in Mayadin on 11 May, the statement said. According to the Pentagon, Al-Jazaeri was involved in training Daesh’s youth wing, the so-called Cubs of the Caliphate.

Read: US expects Daesh to resurface in new shape after its defeat in Mosul

Finally, Abu Khattab al-Rawi, a senior Daesh military leader, was killed near Al-Qaim, near the Syrian border in Iraq on 18 May, the statement said. The Pentagon claimed that Al-Rawi who, judging by his name, is from Iraq, was responsible for procurement and UAV operations in Iraq’s restive western Anbar province.

Using another acronym for the Daesh extremist group, the Pentagon statement said:

The deaths of these men eliminates senior foreign fighters, who had extensive experience and training, and degrades ISIS’s ability to plan and conduct attacks on civilian targets in Iraq and Syria, as well throughout the region and in the West.

Daesh is currently under increasing pressure in Mosul, Iraq and Raqqa, Syria as a coalition of various forces coalesces against the so-called caliphate. In Iraq, US and Iran-backed Iraqi army, Shia jihadist and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters are pushing into the last ten per cent of Daesh-held territory inside west Mosul.

The Iraqi government has repeatedly failed to defeat Daesh in Mosul since the campaign launched on 17 October 2016. With the campaign now in its eighth month, there are concerns that Daesh may have successfully exhausted the Iraqi military, even as it loses its last major urban stronghold in Iraq.