The Pentagon confirmed the death of Abu Wahib today near the town of Rutba, in the Anbar desert.
The strike was targeting Wahib and spokesman Peter Cook said Wahib was ‘a former member of Al-Qaeda in Iraq who has appeared in ISIS execution videos’.
‘We view him as a significant leader in ISIL leadership overall, not just in Anbar Province,’ he added. ‘Removing him from the battlefield will be a significant step forward.’
The men were traveling in a vehicle when they were hit. Cook provided no additional details and did not specify if a warplane or a drone had carried out the strike.
The killing of Wahib is the latest in a series of attacks on senior ISIS leaders in Iraq and Syria, where the terrorists still control huge tracts of land despite an intense US-led air campaign dating back to August 2014.
Some other recent targets include Suleiman Abd Shabib al-Jabouri, an ‘ISIS war council member,’ Abd ar-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli – the ISIS group’s second-in-command also known as Haji Imam — and Omar al-Shishani, the man known as ‘Omar the Chechen,’ who was effectively IS’s defense minister.
In February, US special operations forces captured Sulayman Dawud al-Bakkar, also known as Abu Dawud, who was described as a chemical weapons expert.
‘Since the start of 2015, we’ve targeted and killed more than 40 high-value ISIL and Al-Qaeda external attack plotters. We have removed cell leaders, facilitators, planners and recruiters,’ Baghdad-based military spokesman Colonel Steve Warren wrote online last week, Daily Mail reported.