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American drone strike kills ISIS second-in-command

The militant was killed on Tuesday, according to the White House.

Navy Unmanned Aircraft Source: Steve Helber/PA

THE SECOND-IN-COMMAND of the Islamic State jihadist group (ISIS) has been killed in a US air strike in northern Iraq, the White House said this evening.

The National Security Council identified the slain militant as Fadhil Ahmad al-Hayali, also known as Haji Mutaz, and said he was IS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi’s senior deputy.

US forces say they were able to kill him, along with an ISIS “media operative” known as Abu Abdullah, on 18 August in a strike on a vehicle near the city of Mosul.

The White House described Al-Hayali as a member of the Islamic State’s ruling council, and “a primary coordinator” for moving large amounts of weapons, explosives, vehicles and people between Iraq and Syria.

He 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.

Like many senior Iraqi jihadists, before joining ISIS, Al-Hayali had been a member of Al-Qaeda’s Iraqi faction.

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