Two senior military commanders of the Islamic State (ISIS), including the man who oversaw the terror group’s offensive to capture the Iraqi city of Mosul, were killed by a US-led coalition air strike near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the Pentagon said Friday.
A senior military commander, spokesman of the Pentagon, Peter Cook, said that Basim Muhammad Ahmad Sultan al-Bajari, the terror group’s deputy minister of war, and Hatim Talib al-Hamduni, an ISIS military commander in Mosul, were killed in the June 25 airstrike.
The US-led air strikes have been able to help the Iraqi forces and its allies to push ISIS back.
The two prominent figures of the ISIS were riding together in a car when they were killed, Cook said.
“Their deaths, along with strikes against other ISIL leaders in the past month, have critically degraded ISIL’s leadership experience in Mosul and removed two of their most senior military members in Northern Iraq,” Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said in a statement.
“Removing these terrorist leaders from the battlefield shapes the environment for Iraqi forces to ultimately liberate Mosul with support from the international coalition,” Cook added.
IS launched a sweeping offensive in June 2014, overrunning large areas in northern and western Iraq and eastern Syria, establishing a self-declared “Islamic Caliphate” in the land it captured.
But the Sunni jihadist group has recently lost large parts of the territory it once controlled, including the Iraqi cities of Falluja and Ramadi.