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US-led airstrike killed deputy ISIS commander, US military confirms

An ISIS fighter carries the Islamic State flag. (Wikipedia/Released)
February 01, 2021

U.S. military officials on Friday confirmed Iraqi claims that a top ISIS terror group commander was killed in a U.S.-led coalition strike last week.

On Thursday, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi and other Iraqi officials announced a successful strike targeting ISIS commander Jabbar Salman Ali Farhan Al-Issawi, also known as Abu Yasser Al-Issawi or Abu Yasir. On Friday, Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto also confirmed the successful strike.

Marotto tweeted, “Abu Yasir, the most senior Daesh leader in Iraq, was killed during an air strike near Kirkuk, Jan. 27, 2021. The @iraqicts & @CJTFOIR partnered operation resulted in the deaths of 10 Daesh terrorists. Yasir’s death is another significant blow to Daesh resurgence efforts in Iraq.

Marotto’s tweet revealed nine other ISIS terrorists (also known as Daesh) were killed in the strike alongside Abu Yasir.

Operation Inherent Resolve, the name for the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, maintains a policy of not disclosing which nations are responsible for specific strikes. Iraqi officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the New York Times that it was a U.S. aircraft that carried out the strike on the ISIS leader.

The strike reportedly targeted an underground hide-out where Yasir and the other ISIS members were hiding.

Marotto went on to tweet, “As we gain additional insight into the considerable damage inflicted on senior Daesh leadership networks in Iraq, we highlight that this success was enabled by critical intelligence & support of the Iraqi National Intelligence & its brave officers. This further exemplifies our close cooperation with @MAKadhimi & the [Government of Iraq].

The strike came about a week after a pair of suicide bombers detonated explosives in a busy Baghdad, Iraq marketplace, killing 32 Iraqis and wounding more than 100 more.

Announcing the strike, Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Kadhimi said, “We promised and fulfilled. I gave my word to pursue Daesh terrorists, we gave them a thundering response. Our heroic armed forces have eliminated Daesh commander Abu Yaser Al-Issawi as part of an intelligence-led operation. Long live Iraq and its patriotic armed forces.”

While ISIS has suffered territorial defeats in recent years, including the loss of its last territorial Syrian territorial stronghold in Baghuz in 2019, the terror group has persisted with a continued insurgency against coalition forces in Syria and Iraq.

On Saturday, Marotto tweeted about additional strikes targeting ISIS leaders in Iraq. Marotto tweeted, “@IraqiSpoxMOD announced two Daesh terrorists killed, one of them the so-called military official of Daesh (Muthanna Shatran Al-Marawi) in the desert west of the Al-Rutba district. The ISF continues its constant pressure on Daesh.”