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Iran Press TV

Pentagon says top ISIL leader in Libya hit in strike

Iran Press TV

Sat Nov 14, 2015 6:56PM

The Pentagon says a US airstrike has killed a top leader of the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group in Libya.

Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a statement on Saturday that Abu Nabil, also known as Wissam Najm Abd Zayd al Zubaydi, was killed in an air raid on Friday night.

'Nabil's death will degrade ISIL's ability to meet the group's objectives in Libya, including recruiting new ISIL members, establishing bases in Libya, and planning external attacks on the United States,' Cook said.

'While not the first US strike against terrorists in Libya, this is the first US strike against an ISIL leader in Libya and it demonstrates we will go after ISIL leaders wherever they operate,' he said.

The American-led military attacks against purported Daesh positions in Iraq started in June, 2014. A similar coalition launched airstrikes in Syria one month later.

The latest overnight airstrike was conducted by two US F-15 aircraft near Libya's eastern port city of Darnah. Nabil was an Iraqi national who was once an al-Qaeda operative, according to the statement.

Another report of Nabil's death, however, emerged in July, according to which, he had been captured by a rival terrorist group in Libya. It said the group hanged Nabil publicly to deter locals from abandoning local militant groups and pledging allegiance to ISIL. He was thought to have been sent to Libya by Daesh ringleader Ibrahim al-Samarrai, aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, earlier in the summer.

Cook said the airstrike in Libya was 'authorized and initiated prior to the terrorist attack in Paris," which killed scores of people in the French capital on Friday night.

Daesh Takfiris claimed responsibility for the attacks. The terrorist group released an online audio statement in Arabic and French on Saturday, saying the attack was the "first of the storm and a warning to those who wish to learn."

ISIL terrorists, who were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, now control parts of Syria and Iraq. They have been engaged in crimes against humanity in the areas under their control.



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