American-led coalition forces and U.S. aircraft have conducted an airstrike that killed a key ISIS commander on January 27.

Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service troops were conducting a raid on the ISIS location about 10 miles west of Kirkuk when coalition aircraft hit the target killing Jabbar Salman Ali Farhan al-Issawi, also known as Abu Yasir al-Issawi, deputy commander and ISIS chief in Iraq, and 10 other ISIS members.

The strike comes just a week after a double suicide bombing that killed 32 people and injured 100 in a crowded Baghdad marketplace.

Al-Issawi is believed to have coordinated ISIS’s operations in Iraq and relayed guidance to the group’s fighters across the country from Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, the leader of the terrorist group. Al-Qurayshi’s whereabouts are unknown.

Al-Qurayshi took over command of ISIS in Iraq after his predecessor, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed in a raid by U.S. Army Delta Force operators in Syria in 2019.

ISIS had captured one-third of Iraqi territory and parts of Syria and declared a “caliphate” with Mosul as its capital. But they were slowly pushed out in bloody fighting. They now control little actual territory, but still, conduct a terror campaign against the people of Iraq and Syria.

ISIS had quickly taken responsibility for the deadly January 21 bombing in the Baghdad open-air market. The Iraqi government and intelligence service were under criticism for the large attack that was seen as an intelligence failure. The attack was the first of its scale in Baghdad in several years. 

Therefore, the beleaguered government of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi wasted little time in hailing the operation that killed al-Issawi as an Iraqi intelligence coup.