First reported by Iraqi State Television, Ayad al-Jumaili, the Islamic State’s second-in-command, was allegedly killed in an Iraqi airstrike early Saturday.
Though the U.S.-strengthened coalition wasn’t immediately available for comment, the report cited Iraqi military intelligence in reporting the death of al-Jumaili.
In a statement from the Iraq directorate of military intelligence, the television station was told, “The air force’s planes executed with accuracy a strike on the headquarters of Daesh in al-Qaim … resulting in the killing of Daesh’s second-in-command … Ayad al-Jumaili, alias Abu Yahya, the war minister.”
Al-Jumaili, a former operative under Saddam Hussein, was in charge of the Islamic State’s security agency in Syria and Iraq. Such security operations, also known as Amniya, gave al-Jumaili a direct line of contact to top ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
As tens of thousands continue to flee the terror-stricken areas of ISIS-infiltrated war zones, Iraqi and U.S. forces have chipped away at the Islamic State’s presence in key cities. U.S. troops have aided the Iraqi’s attempts to retake the Islamic State’s grasp in Mosul, its point of pressure in Iraq.
In Raqqa, the ISIS capital of operations in Syria, proceedings are also in the works to dwindle the organization’s terror influence.
The latest intelligence gathered by U.S. and Iraqi officials suggests al-Baghdadi has relocated to the desert with other top ISIS leaders.
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