The second-in-command of the dreaded Islamic State militant group has been killed in a US air strike in northern Iraq, the White House has said.
Fadhil Ahmad al-Hayali, also known as Hajji Mutazz was killed on August 18 while travelling in a vehicle near Mosul, Iraq, along with an ISIL media operative known as Abu Abdullah, the White House said yesterday.
“Al-Hayali was an ISIL Shura Council member and as the senior deputy to ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was a primary coordinator for moving large amounts of weapons, explosives, vehicles, and people between Iraq and Syria,” said Ned Price, spokesman of the National Security Council of the White House.
“He supported ISIL operations in both countries and was in charge of ISIL operations in Iraq, where he was instrumental in planning operations over the past two years, including the ISIL offensive in Mosul in June 2014,” Price said.
Al-Hayali was a member of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, the predecessor to ISIL, and previously served as ISIL’s Baghdad military emir and the emir of Ninawa Province.
“Al-Hayali’s death will adversely impact ISIL’s operations given that his influence spanned ISIL s finance, media, operations, and logistics,” Price said.
The US and its coalition partners are determined to degrade and destroy this terrorist group which has wrought so much harm and suffering on the people of the region and beyond, he said.