Pentagon confirms strikes have killed 3 ISIS leaders

Pentagon confirms strikes have killed 3 ISIS leaders

U.S. airstrikes have killed two top-level and one mid-level ISIS leader, a senior U.S. military official tells CNN.

Haji Mutazz was Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s deputy in Iraq; Abd al Basit was his military emir in Iraq; and Radwan Talib was his Mosul emir. Their deaths resulted from multiple strikes going back to mid-November — it has taken until now to determine conclusively they were killed.

“I can confirm that since mid-November, targeted coalition airstrikes successfully killed multiple senior and mid-level leaders within the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,” said Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby, in a statement on Thursday. …

News of the killings was first disclosed by Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. …

In addition, President Barack Obama signed deployment orders yesterday for 1,300 troops to Iraq. This is the lion’s share of the 1,500 additional troops he authorized last month. By February, the U.S. will have roughly 3,000 U.S. troops on the ground.

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