Pentagon: Syria-based ISIL leader linked to Paris attacks killed

Islamic Extremism

IRAQ-CONFLICT-RAMADIMembers of Iraq’s elite counter-terrorism service use their military vehicles to patrol on December 29, 2015 the city of Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s Anbar province, about 110 kilometers west of Baghdad, after Iraqi forces recaptured it from the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group. (AFP PHOTO / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE)

A U.S.-led coalition has killed 10 Islamic State leaders in the past month with targeted airstrikes, including individuals linked to last month’s attacks in Paris according to a spokesman for the coalition.

The 10 leaders were killed mainly by drone strikes in Iraq and Syria, according to U.S. Army Colonel Steve Warren, a spokesman for the U.S.-led military campaign against Islamic State. He said one was directly tied to those who planned the violence in Paris and was actively planning other assaults against the West.

Most appeared to be mid-level leaders.

Majid Rafizadeh on the crisis in Syria

CCTV America’s Mike Walter spoke with Majid Rafizadeh. He’s president of the International American Council, and a scholar at Harvard University.

Majid Rafizadeh on the crisis in Syria

CCTV America's Mike Walter spoke with Majid Rafizadeh. He's president of the International American Council, and a scholar at Harvard University.

One of those killed was Abdul Qader Hakim, who Warren said facilitated the Islamic State’s external operations, and had links to the Paris attack network.
He was killed in Mosul on Dec. 26.

Another was Syrian-based leader Charaffe al Mouadan, who also had direct links to the Paris attacks. He was killed Dec. 24, Warren said.

“Al Mouadan was actively planning attacks against the west. We will hunt ISIL leaders working to inspire attacks against US and our allies,” Warren said on Twitter.

He said that one of the others killed was from Bangladesh but spent time in Britain and was a hacker for the Islamic State group and coordinated anti-surveillance technology.

By Dec. 24 the U.S. and its allies had conducted 31 airstrikes against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the coalition leading the operations said in a statement.

In Syria, a dozen strikes using fighters and drones were carried out near five cities, including near Dayr Az Zawr, Mar’a and Manbij. The targets struck included a crude oil collection point, seven tactical fighting units, and destroyed several vehicles and wounded three Islamic State fighters.

In Iraq, the coalition staged 19 strikes near nine cities, including seven strikes near Mosul and three near Ramadi that destroyed 16 fighting positions, several tunnels, vehicles and bunkers.

Reuters and AP wires contributed to this report.