Coalition strike kills key IS leader in Iraq: Pentagon

By Reuters   May 9, 2016 | 05:17 pm PT
The Pentagon confirms an air strike last week killed Abu Wahib, Islamic State's military emir for the Anbar Province in Iraq.The Pentagon confirmed on Monday (May 9) that a coalition air strike killed a key Islamic State figure in Iraq.

"On May 6th, a coalition air strike targeted Abu Wahib ISIL's military emir for Anbar Province and a former member of al Qaeda in Iraq who has appeared in ISIL execution videos," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said at a briefing to reporters, using an acronym for Islamic State.

"That strike near Rutba was successful, killing Abu Wahib and and three other ISIL jihadists. Abu Wahib's death is another blow to ISIL's leadership that will further degrade its ability to operate, especially in Anbar Province," Cook added.

The strike was on a vehicle carrying Abu Wahib, also known as Shakir Wahib, Cook said.

"It is dangerous to be an ISIL leader in Iraq and Syria these days, and for good reason. We want to apply pressure to ISIL on as many fronts as possible, and taking out leadership targets is one way to do that. And we've been very successful, and this is another example of that. Anbar province as you know is an area critically important to the fight against ISIL and the fact that we've now taken out the military emir of Anbar Province is going to harm ISIL's ability to conduct operations there," Cook said.

Cook did not identify the other three killed with Abu Wahib.

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