WASHINGTON • The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group's second in command has been killed in a US raid in Syria, news reports said yesterday.
Abd ar-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli was killed this month, The Daily Beast and NBC News quoted unnamed US defence officials as saying.
Defence Secretary Ashton Carter confirmed the killing of the Iraqi, also known as Hajji Iman, at a news conference late yesterday Singapore time. "The removal of this ISIL leader will hamper the ability for them to conduct operations inside and outside of Iraq and Syria," Mr Carter said, using another name for ISIS.
Al-Qaduli, an ethnic Turkmen who was born in 1957 or 1959 in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, joined Al-Qaeda in Iraq - a precursor of ISIS - in 2004 under the leadership of the late Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, serving as his deputy and the local leader in Mosul, according to the US.
After his release from an Iraqi prison in early 2012, he joined ISIS forces in Syria.
The Iraqi Ministry of Defence reported in May last year that he had been killed in a US coalition air strike on a mosque, a claim later denied by the Americans.
The State Department had designated Al-Qaduli a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist" and had offered a US$7 million (S$9.6 million) reward for information on him.