Ayad al-Jumaili, believed to be a deputy of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed in an airstrike on Friday, an Iraqi intelligence spokesman said on Saturday.

The U.S.-led anti-Islamic State coalition said it was unable at the moment to confirm the information that was reported earlier in the day by Iraqi state-run TV.

Jumaili was killed with other Islamic State commanders in a strike carried out by the Iraqi air force in the region of al-Qaim, near the border with Syria, a military intelligence spokesman told Reuters.

“The air force’s planes executed with accuracy a strike on the headquarters of Daesh in al-Qaim .. resulting in the killing of Daesh’s second-in-command…Ayad al-Jumaili, alias Abu Yahya, the war minister,” state TV said earlier, citing a statement from the directorate of military intelligence.

Iraqi forces, backed by a U.S.-led coalition, have been battling since October to retake the city of Mosul, Islamic State’s last major stronghold in Iraq and the city where Baghdadi declared a caliphate nearly three years ago.

Nearly 290,000 people have fled the city to escape the fighting, according to the United Nations.

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Featured image courtesy of The Sun.