ISIS Deputy Leader Abu Alaa al-Afri Killed by Airstrike: Iraq Military

National News
(NBC News) The deputy leader of ISIS has been killed in an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition, Iraq’s government announced Wednesday.

A video posted on the Ministry of Defense’s official website showed what was purported to be the attack that killed Abu Alaa al-Afri while he was holding a meeting at a mosque in Iraq’s northern Tal Afar province.

In a statement, the Iraqi military said the strike was the result of “accurate intelligence.” It added that an “unknown number” of ISIS militants had also been killed.

The defense ministry’s account of the death could not be immediately independently verified by NBC News.

U.S. Central Command said it had no information to confirm that al-Afri had been killed. In a statement, CENTCOM refuted reports that coalition aircraft struck a mosque.

“We have significant mitigation measures in place within the targeting process and during the conduct of operations to reduce the potential risks of collateral damage and civilian casualties,” the statement said.

Dr. Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said that al-Afri was previously a well-known al Qaeda loyalist with “strong relationships with the group’s leadership” before joining ISIS.

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