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Thursday, October 22, 2020

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U.S.-led strike kills senior Daesh official in Iraq: Pentagon
Reuters
An airstrike by a U.S.-led coalition killed a senior Daesh (ISIS) official in Iraq last week, a Pentagon spokesman said Monday.
The strike on May 6 killed Abu Wahib, Daesh’s chief military official in Anbar province, said Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook. The strike was on a vehicle carrying Abu Wahib, also known as Shakir Wahib, and three other Daesh members near the town of Rutba, Cook said.
Daesh, a hard-line Sunni Islamist group, seized large portions of Anbar province in 2014, though Iraqi security forces have since last year succeeded in winning back some towns there, including Ramadi and Hit.
The death of Abu Wahib, given his senior role in military planning in Anbar, will impede Daesh’s ability to conduct operations in the western province, Cook said.
“[Daesh] leadership has been hit hard by coalition efforts and this is another example of that,” Cook said. “It is dangerous to be an [Daesh] leader in Iraq and Syria these days, and for good reason.”
Abu Wahib had appeared in Daesh execution videos and was a former member of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Cook said.
The U.S. military and allies have been conducting airstrikes in Syria and Iraq since 2014 targeting Daesh leaders and infrastructure in an effort to defeat the group.
Iraqi media have in the past year published reports of Abu Wahib’s death, though the Pentagon had never confirmed his death before.
Meanwhile, a car bomb claimed by Daesh in the eastern Iraqi city of Baqouba killed at least 16 people Monday and wounded 54 others near a bakery close to the city center, police and hospital sources said.
The Aamaq news agency, which supports Daesh, said a suicide bomber had targeted Shiite militia fighters in the provincial capital of Diyala, a mixed Shiite and Sunni area bordering Iran. The sources said many of the fatalities were children eating at a nearby restaurant.
Iraqi officials declared victory over Daesh in Diyala more than a year ago, after security forces and Shiite militias drove them out of towns and villages there. But the insurgents have remained active and militia elements have been accused of abuses against Sunni residents.
 
 
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