- U.S. aerial bombardments continue to rain on Iraq and Syria killing another top leader of the Islamic State takfiris.
- August 18th 2015, the Islamic State’s second-in-command, Fadhil Ahmad al-Hayali was killed by the airstrikes while traveling near Iraq city of Mosul.
- Another Islamic State media operative, Abu Abdullah was also killed.
The death of the high profile leader will greatly and adversely affect ISIL’s operations citing his spanned experience in ISIL’s media, finance, operations and logistics.
According to US Defense and intelligence official, Al-Hayali also known as Hajji Mutazz or Abu Muslim al-Turkmani was a senior deputy of the Islamic State’s self proclaimed caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Intelligence reveals that the slain leader was responsible for moving large number of explosives, weapons, vehicles and fighters across Iraq and Syria.
ISIL’s second in command played a pivotal role in planning of the Islamic State’s offensive to take Iraq’s Mosul I June 2014.
The military expertise of al-Hayali can be traced back at the time of Iraqi’s dictator Saddam Hussein where he was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Iraq Army as well as an officer in the Iraq Special Forces. He is believed originally to come from Tal Afar in Nineva province.
Summary & Forecast
While this is good news on the global fight against terrorism and violent extremism, this is not the first time the ISIL’s second in command has been reported dead. Towards the end of 2014, a senior US Defense Department official had announced that al-Hayali had been killed alongside other three high-ranking Islamic State officials in a series of drone strikes in November and December.
Elimination of top level commanders has disproportionate impact on the militant groups as they bring a unique set of skills to their jobs.
Though al-Hayali is not the first high ranking ISIL leader to be killed in the battlefield, his death is a big blow to the entire ISIL command citing his experience in logistical capability and reliance by the outfit.
It is also likely the death of Abu Sayyaf killed by Special Forces in a raid in eastern Syria in May has contributed to the killing al-Hayali since his wife was captured together with laptops and mobile phones all giving credible intelligence into the group’s operations.
In the coming days we predict that Islamic State would become even more indiscriminate in its use of violence. The group may direct their anger against civilians rather than the military targets.