Several Top ISIS Leaders Have Been Killed in Iraq, U.S. Says

Air strike in Iraq

WASHINGTON—U.S. airstrikes have killed several very senior military leaders of Islamic State forces in Iraq, the Pentagon’s top uniformed officer disclosed Thursday.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that three key Islamic State military leaders in Iraq were killed there in recent weeks during operations that are part of an expanding coalition effort ahead of a planned offensive next year.

The strikes in which the Islamic State leaders were killed were designed to hamper the group’s ability to conduct its own attacks, supply its fighters and finance its operations, Gen. Dempsey said.

“It is disruptive to their planning and command and control,” Gen. Dempsey said. “These are high-value targets, senior leadership”…

…Other defense officials said that in addition to the most recent strikes, the U.S. has killed a number of senior and midlevel Islamic State commanders, and believe those operations are beginning to significantly weaken the group’s leadership structure in Iraq.

Ahmed Ali, an analyst at the Institute of the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank that closely monitors the developments, said the recent strikes were significant.

“These are big hits and eliminating these figures always temporarily disrupts the organization,” Mr. Ali said…

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