US Airstrikes Kill ISIS Financial Chief

US airstrikes in recent weeks have killed multiple top ISIS officials, including the group’s top financial official Abu Salah. The group’s “senior extortionist” Abu Mariam, and a leader named Abu Rahman al-Tunisi also were killed in the late November airstrikes, which occurred near the Iraqi town of Tal Afar, coalition spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said during a Thursday briefing. The coalition has increased airstrikes in the region, killing about 350 fighters within the past week near the Iraqi city of Ramadi. Defense Secretary Ash Carter told Senate legislators on Dec. 9 that Iraqi forces are moving to take back the city. Large-scale strikes against the group, especially against its financial backing, are akin to “body blows” that will soon take effect, said Warren. “It’s a ripple effect that takes a while to catch up,” he added. “When it does catch up, we will see this enemy’s knees weaken notably.” (Read the October 2014 Foreign Policy profile on Abu Mariam.)