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American Forces Press Service

ISIL Leader Killed in Syria

From a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve News Release

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Jan. 6, 2017 – A Syria-based Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant leader and facilitator was struck and killed by a coalition precision airstrike Dec. 31, 2016, in Raqqa, Syria, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Mahmud al-Isawi, was a long-standing ISIL member who supported the organization's media and intelligence structure in Fallujah before relocating to Raqqa, the release said. He controlled the flow of instructions and finances between ISIL-held areas and ISIL leaders, and provided support to propaganda and intelligence outlets.

The release said al-Isawi was also known to have facilitated trans-regional travel with other ISIL external operations coordinators and had a close working and personal relationship with Abd al-Basit al-Iraqi, the emir of ISIL's Middle East attack network, who was killed in a coalition airstrike, Nov. 2, 2016.

Al-Isawi was the 16th significant member of ISIL's external operations network to be killed by coalition forces in 2016, the release said. His death, combined with the recent successive deaths of other ISIL leaders plotting terrorist attacks, has degraded ISIL's trans-regional attack and facilitation network, and is forcing ISIL to increase their focus on internal security, the release noted.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

The strike was conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to eliminate the ISIL terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria, and the wider international community. The coalition will continue to track and eliminate ISIL terrorists who plot and conduct attacks against member nations and allies, wherever they are hiding, officials said.

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