The airstrike allegedly took place in western Anbar province, east of the town of Haditha.
The deceased commander is reported to have been Assi Ali Mohammed Nasser al-Obeidi. He was formerly a colonel in the Iraqi Republican Guards during the reign of Saddam Hussein. He spent some years in American prisons before joining ISIS.
Al-Obeidi became acquainted with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the current ISIS/ISIL leader, in Camp Bucca prison. The Americans released al-Baghdadi from Camp Bucca in 2009, while al-Obeidi was transferred to the notorious Abu Ghraib prison, from which he escaped in 2013. He became a top ISIS commander and went under the name of “Abu Omar al-Obeidi.”
Al-Obeidi hailed from the small town of Hawija to the west from Kirkuk. His last post was chief of staff of ISIS’s Military Council.
Al-Obeidi adds to the long list of top rank ISIS commanders reported to have been eliminated by the Iraqi Army in recent months. They include al-Baghdadi’s top deputy Abu Ali al-Anbari and the head of ISIS’ intelligence committee Abu Hassan al-Sahabi.
As recently as Friday, January 8, the Iraqi Defense Ministry announced: “ISIL Spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani was killed during the terrorist group’s offensive at the town of Barwani in Iraq’s Western territories,” although the terrorist group is yet to make any official statement on al-Adnani’s death.
In October 2015, a convoy of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was targeted by an Iraqi Air Force airstrike, also in western Anbar province bordering Syria. It was heading to Al-Karable to attend a meeting with other ISIS commanders. The airstrike reportedly killed dozens of jihadists who were accompanying the ISIS leader. Al-Baghdadi was wounded himself and evacuated to safety to undergo medical treatment, RT reported.