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  ISIS top strategist killed in airstrike

ISIS top strategist killed in airstrike

Published : Sep 1, 2016, 4:05 am IST
Updated : Sep 1, 2016, 4:05 am IST

Islamic State group spokesman and top strategist Abu Mohamed al-Adnani was killed in Syria, the group said, with both Washington and Moscow claiming credit over his death.

Islamic State group spokesman and top strategist Abu Mohamed al-Adnani was killed in Syria, the group said, with both Washington and Moscow claiming credit over his death.

Adnani was IS’s propaganda chief, top recruiter and the reported mastermind of a string of IS-claimed attacks in the West.

 

In Washington, the Pentagon said US-led coalition forces targeted Adnani in an airstrike in Syria’s Aleppo province on Tuesday but did not immediately confirm his death.

Russia’s military said one of its airstrikes killed Adnani in a bombing raid on Tuesday that left up to 40 ISIS jihadists dead.

Regardless of who was responsible, analysts say his death will be a major blow to the ISIS, which has suffered a series of setbacks in 2016, including territorial losses in Syria and Iraq and the killings of other top figures.

Adnani was “the most viscerally aggressive ISIS leader in the public eye”, said Charles Lister.

“Without his explosive voice, ISIS may find it hard to inspire the intense levels of violence that it has managed to inspire of late.”

 

Adnani, a Syrian born in 1977, was ISIS’ most recognised leaders, at the heart of a sophisticated propaganda, and recruitment machine that produced slick videos and sustained a huge social media presence. He allegedly carried out many high-profile attacks abroad that killed hundreds, including in Paris and Istanbul.

The ISIS-affiliated Amaq news agency announced Adnani’s death late on Tuesday, saying he “was martyred while surveying operations to repel the military campaigns against Aleppo” in northern Syria.

Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said US-led coalition forces had “conducted a precision strike” targeting Adnani near the ISIS-held town of Al-Bab in Syria’s northern Aleppo province.

 

“We are still assessing the results of the strike but Adnani’s removal from the battlefield would mark another significant blow to ISIS,” he said.

Adnani “served as principal architect of ISIS’s external operations,” Mr Cook said.

Location: Lebanon, Beirut