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Daesh second-in-command killed in Iraqi airstrike inside Syria

This file picture shows an F-16 fighter jet operated by the Iraqi Air Force. (Photo by AFP)

The militant commander ranked second in the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group has reportedly been killed during an Iraqi airstrike inside the Syrian territory.

Intelligence sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Arabic-language Shafaaq news agency that the aerial attack targeted a group of Daesh militants, who were gathering at a building

A top-ranked extremist, identified by the nom de guerre Abu Luqman al-Suri, was killed in the attack. He was the deputy of purported Daesh leader Ibrahim al-Samarrai aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The sources added that Suri was “in charge of recruiting attackers and dispatching them to Iraq to carry out bomb attacks there.”

The development came a day after Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC) spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasool stated that Iraqi military aircraft had launched a series of attacks in Syria, killing 36 Daesh militants.

There were six senior leaders among the slain Takfiris.

On December 9, 2017, Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared the end of military operations against the Daesh terrorist group in the Arab country.

“Our forces are in complete control of the Iraqi-Syrian border and I therefore announce the end of the war against Daesh,” Abadi told a conference in Baghdad then.

The Iraqi prime minister said on August 31 that Tal Afar and the entire Nineveh province had been purged of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.

The recapture of Tal Afar was made possible with the help of the Iraqi army, Federal Police, Counter-Terrorism Service units, pro-government fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units, commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, and the Interior Ministry's elite rapid response forces, Abadi stated.

On July 10, Abadi formally declared victory over Daesh extremists in Mosul, which served as the terrorists’ main urban stronghold in the conflict-ridden Arab country.

In the run-up to Mosul's liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters had made sweeping gains against Daesh.

The Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January 2017 after 100 days of fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19 last year.

Daesh began a terror campaign in Iraq in 2014, overrunning vast swathes in lightning attacks.

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