US-led air strike kills ISIS deputy leader in Iraq: Ministry

An aircraft handler directs an F/A-18E Super Hornet on the flight deck on board the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) on May 3, 2015. The United States and its allies have conducted 16 air strikes since early on Tuesday, May 12, target
An aircraft handler directs an F/A-18E Super Hornet on the flight deck on board the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) on May 3, 2015. The United States and its allies have conducted 16 air strikes since early on Tuesday, May 12, targeting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants, the Combined Joint Task Force carrying out the operations said on Wednesday. -- PHOTO: AFP / HANDOUT / US NAVY/ MCS1 ANNA VAN NUYS

BAGHDAD (REUTERS, AFP) - Iraq's Defence Ministry said on Wednesday the second most senior member of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) had been killed in a coalition air strike in the north of the country.

"Based on accurate intelligence, an air strike by the coalition forces targeted the second in command of IS, Abu Alaa al-Afari," the ministry said in a statement on its website.

Abu Alaa al-Afri was inside a mosque in Tal Afar that was targeted, BBC reported, citing spokesman Brig-Gen Tahsin Ibrahim.

The United States and its allies have conducted 16 air strikes since early on Tuesday targeting ISIS militants, the Combined Joint Task Force carrying out the operations said on Wednesday.

In Syria, five of the air strikes hit near the key border town of Kobani as well as al Hasaka and ar Raqqa, the task force said in a statement. In Iraq, the strikes targeted areas near Mosul, Falluja, Sinjar, tal Afar, Bayji and al Qaim, it added.