Defense Media Network

Newest Defense Media Network Promotion

Pentagon Confirms ISIL Leader Killed in Airstrike

 

DOD officials confirmed Monday that the U.S. carried out a successful precision airstrike Aug. 30 targeting senior Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant leader Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a statement.

Cook said the strike near Al Bab, Syria, killed al-Adnani, ISIL’s chief propagandist, recruiter and architect of external terrorist operations. ISIL confirmed that al-Adnani had been “martyred” soon after.

Russia, as you know, has spent most of its time, its military campaign supporting and propping up the Assad regime.  It has not devoted much, if any, effort that we’re aware of targeting ISIL’s leadership.  And at the same time, we have not seen the Russian military campaign use precision weaponry on a regular basis as well.

“It is one in a series of successful strikes against ISIL leaders, including those responsible for finances and military planning, that make it harder for the group to operate,” Cook said in his statement Monday. “As we continue to gather momentum in our counter-ISIL campaign, we will continue to target ISIL leaders, relentlessly pursue its external plotters, and, working with our partners on the ground, we will not rest in our efforts to destroy ISIL’s parent tumor in Iraq and Syria, combat its metastases around the world, and protect our homeland.”

The Pentagon confirmation came days after Russia tried to take credit for killing al-Adnani, claiming an Su-34 had taken out the ISIL leader and 40 others during an airstrike near Ma’arat Umm Hawsh, which is some 20 miles west of al-Bab.

Cook had earlier refused to confirm the death of al-Adnani at a briefing Aug. 31, but cast doubt on the Russian claim.

“Now, with regard to the Russians,” Cook said, “we have no information to support Russia’s claim that they also carried out a strike against Adnani. And I would just note that from the start, Russia, as you know, has spent most of its time, its military campaign supporting and propping up the Assad regime.  It has not devoted much, if any, effort that we’re aware of targeting ISIL’s leadership.  And at the same time, we have not seen the Russian military campaign use precision weaponry on a regular basis as well.

“If that’s changing, that would be a good thing.  But again, we have no information at this time to support the claim that they also conducted a strike in this way.”