US-led airstrikes have killed three top leaders of the Islamic State (IS) militant group in Iraq recently, Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Thursday.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the Pentagon’s top uniformed officer said the strikes were designed to hamper the militant group’s ability to conduct its own attacks, supply its fighters and finance its operations.
“It is disruptive to their planning and command and control, Gen. Dempsey said. “These are high-value targets, senior leadership.”
Between Dec. 3 and Dec. 9, American military airstrikes are said to have killed Abd al Basit, the head of Islamic State’s military operations in Iraq, and Haji Mutazz, a key deputy to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the group.
In late November, another strike killed a midlevel commander, Radwin Talib, in Mosul, according to the report.
In addition to the most recent strikes, the US has killed a number of senior and midlevel IS commanders, and believe those operations are beginning to significantly weaken the group’s leadership structure in Iraq, the report said.
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