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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iraqi Report: IS Second-in-command Killed in Airstrike

By VOA News April 01, 2017

The chief lieutenant of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in an airstrike in Iraq's al-Anbar province near the Syrian border, Iraqi state television said Saturday.

The report said an Iraqi Air Force strike in far western Iraq had killed Ayad al-Jumaili and several other regional IS commanders. The report did not say when the attack occurred and offered no other details.

Officials of the U.S.-led anti-IS coalition had not confirmed the extremist's death by Saturday evening.

Citing a statement from Iraqi military intelligence officials, the report described Jumaili, also known as Abu Yahya, as the IS war minister. It said, "The air force's planes executed with accuracy a strike on the headquarters of Daesh [the Arabic acronym for the terror group] in al-Qaim."

Jumaili, who once served as an intelligence officer under former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, joined the Sunni insurgency after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, and analysts said he had since answered directly to Baghdadi.

U.S. and Iraqi intelligence officials have said they think Baghdadi has moved his base of operations about 300 kilometers to the northeast and is hiding in the desert outside Mosul.

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