A top ISIS leader, along with three other jihadists from the terror group, has been killed in a US-led military strike, the Pentagon has said.
Abu Wahib, the ISIS chief in Iraq’s Anbar province, was killed in a May 6 airstrike, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook told reporters at a news conference.
“On May 6th, a coalition air strike targeted Abu Wahib, ISIL’s military emir for Anbar Province and a former member of al-Qaeda in Iraq who has appeared in ISIL execution videos,” he said.
“That strike near Rutbah was successful, killing Abu Wahib and three other ISIL jihadists. Abu Wahib’s death is another blow to ISIL’s leadership that will further degrade its ability to operate, especially in Anbar Province,” Cook said.
Responding to a question, Cook, while referring to ISIS as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), said it is fair to say that leadership of the group has been hit hard by coalition efforts and this is another example of that.
“It is dangerous to be an ISIL leader in Iraq and Syria these days, and for good reason we want to apply pressure ISIL on as many fronts as possible. And taking out leadership targets is one way to do that,” he said.
“We’ve been very successful and this is another example of that. Anbar Province is an area critically important to the fight against ISIL, and the fact that we’ve not taken out the military emir of Anbar Province is going to harm ISIL’s ability to conduct operations there,” Cook said.
“Is taking out leadership alone sufficient in this fight? Absolutely not. But it is one part of a multi-pronged effort to apply pressure on as many fronts to ISIL and for ISIL leaders to be very worried about their next step,” he added.