Coalition forces killed two senior ISIS military commanders in airstrikes near Mosul, Iraq earlier this week, Defense Department spokesman Peter Cook said Friday.
Cook said the June 25 precision strikes killed Basim Muhammad Ahmad Sultan al-Bajari, ISIS’ deputy minister of war, and Hatim Talib al-Hamduni, an ISIS military commander in Mosul.
He described their deaths as “the latest in coalition efforts to systemically eliminate ISIL’s cabinet wherever they hide, disrupting their ability to plot external terror attacks and hold onto the territory they use to claim legitimacy. “
He said Al-Bajari was “an experienced terrorist, a former member of Al Qaeda who brought his military skills into ISIL’s terrorist network. He oversaw ISIL’s June 2014 offensive to capture Mosul, and has also led the ISIL Jaysh al-Dabiq battalion known for using vehicle-borne IEDs, suicide bombers and mustard gas in its attacks.