Shaping Operations Continue in Iraq, Syria as ISIL Leaders Targeted
The past three weeks has seen continued shaping and clearing operations in Iraq, continued reduction of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s ability to move fighters in and out of northern Syria, and sustained pressure on ISIL’s command and control, the Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman said today.
Air Force Col. John Dorrian briefed the Pentagon press corps via teleconference on OIR operations, describing work being done to remove ISIL leadership figures.
Over the past 60 days coalition precision air strikes have targeted and struck more than a dozen ISIL leaders in Mosul alone, he said.
Strikes on ISIL Leaders
“These strikes have a disruptive effect on the enemy command and control, which is important in setting conditions for Mosul’s liberation,” Dorrian said, noting that the strikes have been against military commanders, safe houses, weapons facilitators, vehicle-borne bomb attack coordinators, security commanders and operations and communication leaders.
On the precision strike announced last week against Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, widely known as ISIL’s No. 2 leader, Dorrian said coalition forces had been tracking him for a long time, knowing it was important to remove him from his role as ISIL’s senior plotter for external terror attacks.
“Adnani was … responsible for spying, internal messaging and discipline as well as planning and directing the murder of innocent men, women and children in terror attacks around the world,” he added.
It has been widely reported that Adnani was killed in the strike but Dorrian said the coalition is still assessing the results of the strike.