Pentagon: 3 ISIS leaders killed in airstrike
Three ISIS leaders were killed last week by a coalition airstrike in ISIS’ self-declared capital, Raqqa, Syria, the Pentagon said Tuesday.
Two of the targets, Salah Gourmat and Sammy Djedou, were directly involved in plotting the November 13, 2015 Paris attacks, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a statement. The third, Walid Hamman, was a suicide attack planner who was convicted in absentia in Belgium for a terror plot disrupted in 2015.
The leaders were working to plot and carry out attacks on on the West, the Pentagon said, and were a part of a terror network run by Boubaker Al-Hakim, who was killed in an earlier coalition airstrike on November 16.
Coalition airstrikes have successfully targeted five top ISIL external plotters within the last month. The Pentagon attributes this success to intelligence material and coordination with local partners.
The news comes after the US announced it would send up to 200 additional troops to Syria to help train and assist US-backed local forces that are driving towards Raqqa. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said he expects the fight against ISIS to continue “for some time” even after Raqqa and Mosul are captured.