White House Confirms US Airstrike Kills Islamic State Second-In-Command

Fadhil Ahmad al-Hayali, also known as Hajji Mutazz, the second in command of the terrorist group Islamic State, was killed in a US military air strike on August 18 while traveling in a vehicle near Mosul, Iraq, along with an Islamic State media operative known as Abu Abdullah, the White House said Friday.

According to a statement by NSC spokesperson Ned Price, Al-Hayali was an ISIL Shura Council member and, as the senior deputy to ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was a primary coordinator for moving large amounts of weapons, explosives, vehicles, and people between Iraq and Syria.

Al-Hayali supported ISIL operations in both countries and was in charge of ISIL operations in Iraq, where he was instrumental in planning operations over the past two years, including the ISIL offensive in Mosul in June 2014, the statement continued, adding that Al-Hayali was a member of Al Qa’ida in Iraq, the predecessor to ISIL, and previously served as ISIL’s Baghdad military emir and the emir of Ninawa Province.

“Al-Hayali’s death will adversely impact ISIL’s operations given that his influence spanned ISIL’s finance, media, operations, and logistics,’ the statement noted. “The United States and its coalition partners are determined to degrade and destroy this terrorist group which has wrought so much harm and suffering on the people of the region and beyond.”


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