WASHINGTON, May 9, 2016 —
A U.S.-led coalition airstrike May 6 targeted and killed Abu Wahib, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s military emir for Iraq’s Anbar province, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said today.
The spokesman said Wahib is a former member of al-Qaida in Iraq and has been seen in ISIL execution videos.
That strike also killed three other ISIL jihadists, Cook said.
“Abu Wahib's death is another blow to ISIL's leadership that will further degrade its ability to operate, especially in Anbar province,” he said.
Leadership ‘Hit Hard’
ISIL leadership has been hit hard by coalition efforts, Cook said. “This is another example of that,” he added. “It is dangerous to be an ISIL leader in Iraq and Syria these days, and for good reason we want to apply pressure [on] ISIL on as many fronts as possible. Taking out leadership targets is one way to do that.”
Cook noted Anbar province is a critically important area in the fight against ISIL, and the death of Wahib will harm ISIL's ability to conduct operations in the region.
The spokesman noted that taking out leadership is part of what he called “a multipronged effort” to apply pressure on as many fronts to ISIL as possible, “and for ISIL leaders to be very worried about their next step.”
(Follow Terri Moon Cronk on Twitter: @MoonCronkDoD)