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Pentagon announces senior Islamic State deaths

Three of the Islamic State’s senior military leaders have been killed in the past two months, according to the Pentagon.

Coalition attacks have removed senior IS military officials from the battlefield in Iraq and Syria. Earlier this month the government declared that the head of IS in Afghanistan, Abdul Hasib, was killed.

Now, the coalition has stated that “the elimination of three senior foreign fighters represents a significant degradation of the IS planning and operational capability” over the past two months.

The first to be killed was Mustafa Gunes, who was originally from Turkey.

Based in Syria, Gunes was described by the coalition as an external operations facilitator for IS. He was killed by a coalition airstrike near Mayadin in Syria on 27 April.

Gunes was identified as an IS 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.

The propaganda video shows the armed, masked boys dressed in combat fatigues

IS turns boys into deadly soldiers

On 11 May another external operations planner, Abu Asim al Jazaeri, also a Syria-based IS fighter, was killed by a coalition airstrike also striking near Mayadin, Syria.

According to the coalition, al Jazaeri was involved in training of “a new generation” of youths growing up under IS.

Described by the organisation as the Cubs of the Caliphate, the coalition believes the training programme to be a high priority for the IS leadership.

The most recent senior militant to be killed was Abu-Khattab al Rawi, an IS military official who was killed along with three other terrorists during an operation near al Qaim in Iraq on 18 May.

Al Rawi was an IS military official who operated in Iraq’s al Anbar Province and provided direct support to IS leadership, and was responsible for coordinating UAV operations and procurement in al Anbar Province in Iraq.

The coalition stated: “The deaths of these men eliminates senior foreign fighters, who had extensive experience and training”.

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