Pentagon: ISIS Leadership Killed in Strikes

Coalition airstrikes have killed several senior ISIS leaders since November, negatively affecting the terrorist organization’s operations and its ability to command and control forces, confirmed the Pentagon on Dec. 18. Since mid-November, strikes have killed “multiple senior and mid-level leaders within the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,” said Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby in a statement. The loss of these leaders has degraded ISIS and its ability to command and control operations against Iraqi Security Forces and Kurdish fighters. Kirby did not specify individual leaders killed in the strikes, noting DOD would not discuss intelligence and targeting aspects of ongoing operations. ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is not among the dead, but unnamed DOD officials told Al Jazeera and other media outlets those killed included Haji Mutazz, one of Abu Bakr’s deputies in Iraq, as well as Radwan Taleb al-Hamdouni, who was a senior ISIS leader involved in the occupation of Mosul. “It is important to note that leadership, command and control nodes, facilities, and equipment are always part of our targeting calculus,” said Kirby. The success of these airstrikes are a clear sign of the coalition’s resolve in enabling the Iraqi security forces to disrupt and degrade ISIS, as the Iraqi’s prepare to retake control of contested areas of the country, he added.