WASHINGTON: The Pentagon said on Friday that a U.S.-led coalition air strike on Sept. 7 killed an Islamic State leader who oversaw the militant group’s propaganda.
Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a statement that the air strike took place near Raqqa, Syria, and targeted and killed Wa’il Adil Hasan Salman al-Fayad, also known as Dr. Wa’il.
Islamic State controls parts of Iraq and Syria and has broadcast its beheadings of journalists and aid workers over the past few years. The group has sympathizers in several countries who have carried out bombings and shootings of civilians.
The Pentagon said Wa’il was minister of information and prominent member of Islamic State’s Senior Shura Council, or leadership group.
A U.S. Defense Department official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Wa’il was targeted by the air strike while he was on a motorcycle outside his house.
“Wa’il oversaw ISIL’s production of terrorist propaganda videos showing torture and executions,” Cook said in the statement, using an acronym for the group. “He was a close associate of Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, the ISIL spokesman and leader for plotting and inspiring external terror attacks.”
On Aug. 30, Islamic State said Adnani was killed in a U.S. air strike in Syria, which was later confirmed by the Pentagon.
On Friday, the Pentagon acknowledged that U.S. special operation forces are accompanying Turkish and vetted Syrian opposition forces battling Islamic State in and around the area of the Syrian border near al-Rai and the town of Jarablus, further east.