Report: Deputy ISIS leader killed in Iraq

Iraqi sources say Ayad al-Jumail was killed in an airstrike near the border with Syria.

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Ben Ariel,

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Reuters

Ayad al-Jumaili, believed to be a deputy of Islamic State (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed in an airstrike on Friday, an Iraqi intelligence spokesman said on Saturday, according to Reuters.

The United States-led coalition against ISIS in Iraq and Syria said it was unable to confirm the information for the time being.

Jumaili was killed with other ISIS commanders in a strike carried out by the Iraqi air force in the region of al-Qaim, near the border with Syria, a military intelligence spokesman told Reuters.

"The air force's planes executed with accuracy a strike on the headquarters of Daesh in al-Qaim ... resulting in the killing of Daesh's second-in-command ... Ayad al-Jumaili, alias Abu Yahya, the war minister," state TV said earlier, citing a statement from the directorate of military intelligence and using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.

The Iraqi state TV report is the first by an official media to announce the death of Jumaili, who was an intelligence officer under former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Jumaili led ISIS's top security agency in Iraq and Syria, known as Amniya, answering directly to Baghdadi, according to experts cited by Reuters.

The fate of ISIS leader Baghdadi remains unclear, much like that of his deputy. There have been several reports in recent months suggesting that Baghdadi had been injured or even killed in coalition airstrikes, but none of those reports have been confirmed.

He refuted those reports by releasing an audio message in which he said he is "confident of victory" and called on the people of Mosul to fight the "enemies of God".

Most recently, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson predicted that Baghdadi's death was only a matter of time.








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