ISIS Claims Top Spokesman Killed in Airstrike

Cheryl Sanders
August 31, 2016

Intelligence officials believe that in addition to acting as the group's official representative, al-Adnani was also key in various planning details involving ISIS operatives and also had a hand in the gruesome execution videos the terror network often releases.

This file image shows an image grab taken on October 2, 2013 from a video uploaded on YouTube on July 8, 2012, of the spokesman for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), Abu Mohammad al-Adnani al-Shami, speaking next to an Islamist flag at an uWASHINGTON, Aug 31 - Islamic State spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, who had a US$5 million (RM20 million) U.S. bounty on his head, was killed while surveying defenses near the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, the terrorist group's Amaq News Agency reported.

"Coalition forces conducted an air strike in Al-Bab, Syria, targeting a senior [IS] leader", the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. That's a critical junction for ISIS in northern Syria as it tries to retain access to the Turkish border some 25 kilometers away.

The SITE Intelligence Group translated the tweet from Arabic.

Because of his influential role in promoting the group's vision, Adnani was a target for USA and allied military operations.

Adnani, a founding member of the Islamic State, oversaw a recruiting and training operation that led to attacks on Europe, according to multiple media outlets.

ISIS' core territory in Iraq and Syria has continued to shrink over the last month.

His death, if confirmed, would be the latest blow to the group, which has been on the retreat in Syria and Iraq, where it has declared a self-styled Islamic caliphate straddling both countries.

Al-Adnani himself had recognized this. "No, defeat is losing the will and the desire to fight".

Adnani swore allegiance to the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was later killed by USA airstrike.

In Washington, a USA defense official said in response to reports of al-Adnani's death that a US airstrike on Tuesday targeted "an ISIL senior leader" in the Syrian city of al-Bab, which is northeast of Aleppo.

While details on strikes from Tuesday have yet to be released, coalition aircraft hit six positions near Manbij on Monday, roughly 60 miles northeast of Aleppo, hitting "four separate [Islamic State] tactical units, and destroyed a fighting position, a vehicle, a tank, and two vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices", according to an official release from the the United States military, which oversees the air campaign.

It's unclear if the spokesperson was killed near Aleppo city itself, or in the wider Aleppo Governorate, or whether he was killed by an airstrike or by ground forces.

However, kicking ISIS out of Sirte may be a double-edged sword. "But more importantly, he is the head of the Emni, which is the body that is responsible for exporting terror overseas". In August, the Egyptian army claimed to have killed a senior leader of the group.

The number one target on the United States' ISIS hit list has been killed in Syria. After weeks of resistance in nearby Manbij, hundreds of ISIS fighters slipped out of Jarablus within hours of the incursion by Turkish armor. Finance minister Haji Iman and leader Omar al-Shishani are also now dead.

Other reports by iNewsToday