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American Forces Press Service

Coalition Removes ISIS Leaders From Battlefield

From a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve News Release

SOUTHWEST ASIA, May 26, 2017 – Coalition airstrikes have removed senior Islamic State of Iraq and Syria military officials and planners from the battlefield.

The elimination of three senior foreign fighters represents a significant degradation of the ISIS planning and operational capability, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials said.

Terrorists Were Based in Syria, Iraq

Mustafa Gunes, a Syria-based ISIS external operations facilitator from Turkey, was killed by an April 27 coalition airstrike near Mayadin, Syria. He was identified as an ISIS recruiter in the central Turkish city of Konya. He was linked to facilitating financial support for planning attacks outside Syria and Iraq against the West, officials said.

Abu Asim al-Jazaeri, an ISIS external operations planner and a Syria-based French-Algerian ISIS fighter, was killed by a May 11 coalition airstrike near Mayadin, Syria. He was involved in training a new generation of ISIS youths called the Cubs of the Caliphate, officials said, describing it as a high-priority training program sanctioned by ISIS leadership.

Abu-Khattab al-Rawi, a senior ISIS military official, was killed during a May 18 operation near Qaim, Iraq, along with three other terrorists. Rawi was an ISIS military official who operated in Iraq's Anbar province and provided direct support to ISIS leadership, officials said. He also was responsible for coordinating unmanned aerial vehicle operations and procurement in Anbar.

The deaths of these men eliminates senior foreign fighters who had extensive experience and training and degrades ISIS' ability to plan and conduct attacks on civilian targets in Iraq and Syria, as well throughout the region and in the West, task force officials said.

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