The US military says it has killed several leading militants from the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group, including the second-in-command who was serving as the group’s finance minister. US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Friday that a US special operations team killed the top Daesh terrorist on Thursday during a pre-dawn raid in Syria. “We are systematically eliminating ISIL’s cabinet,” said Carter at a press briefing at the Pentagon. He gave no details about how he died. “The removal of this ISIL leader will hamper the organization’s ability to conduct operations both inside and outside of Iraq and Syria," Carter said.
US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Friday that a US special operations team killed top Daesh militant Haji Iman on Thursday during a pre-dawn raid in Syria. Abdul Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli, also known as Abu Ala al-Afri or Haji Iman was a former physics professor from Iraq who originally joined the al-Qaeda terror organization in 2004. After spending time in an Iraqi prison, he was released in 2012 and traveled to Syria to join ISIL. He was said to have taken temporary charge of ISIL after its top leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was allegedly injured in an air strike.
Carter said this was the second senior Daesh leader successfully targeted this month, in addition to the group’s “minister of war” Omar al-Shishani, or “Omar the Chechen,” killed in a recent US airstrike. The announcement comes at a time of growing anxiety about Daesh, which claimed responsibility for terrorist attacks in Brussels, Belgium this week that killed at least 31 people and injured over 200. Daesh terrorists, who were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, now control large parts of Iraq and Syria. They are engaged in crimes against humanity in the areas under their control. A temporary ceasefire agreement engineered by Russia and the United States, which came into force across Syria on February 27, has been holding despite minor reports of violations by the warring sides.