Air Strike by U.S. Kills Islamic State’s Second in Command

The White House announced on Friday that the second in command of the Islamic State, also known as Daesh, was killed during an air strike the U.S. carried out in northern Iraq.

The U.S. National Security Council said that the slain radical militant was Fadhil Ahmand Al Hayali known also by the name Haji Mutaz. He was identified as the senior deputy of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the leader of IS.

The U.S. had announced the death of Hayali on a previous occasion. U.S. officials in December of 2014 speaking on the condition of anonymity told reporters that Hayali was one of a number of senior figures that were killed in strikes by the coalition.

However, U.S. forces now are saying they did kill him along with a media operative named Abu Abdullah August 18 in an airstrike that hit a vehicle near Mosul.

The White House said Hayali was part of the Islamic State’s ruling council and one the main coordinators for moving large numbers of vehicles, explosives, weapons and people back and forth from Syria and Iraq.

Like many of the senior militants in Iraq, prior to joining the Daesh, Hayali was a member of the Iraqi al-Qaeda faction.

He reportedly was an Iraqi officer during the Saddam Hussain era.

The terrorists from IS launched a dramatic offensive in June of 2014 in Iraq. Starting in Mosul, the second largest city in the country and the Nineveh province’s capital, the group swept aside security forces and overran more than one third of the country.

An inquiry this week said that officials in Iraq had mismanaged the crisis in Mosul disastrously ignoring many warnings of an attack that was impending.

Officials said over 2,000 people were executed in and near the city since it was taken over by terrorists. Those killed had been accused by militants of promoting ideas and distorting Islam.

The list of the executed was posted for death certificates to be issued and consisted of many police officers, former officers in the army, local officials, doctors, journalists and rights activists.

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