Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Tunisia's Parliament votes on new Government

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

French court rules #burkini ban "clearly illegal"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Biden in Turkey, Colombia Peace Deal, Ethiopia Olympic Protest (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Earthquake in Italy, French Burkini Ruling (part 1)

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

The hidden secrets of Les Invalides

Read more

FOCUS

Pro-Opposition stronghold Port-Gentil feverishly awaits presidential elections

Read more

ENCORE!

Alexis Michalik: treading the boards in the footsteps of 'Edmond'

Read more

REPORTERS

Getting away with murder in DR Congo

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Why does Italy refuse to see the seismic risk?'

Read more

Middle East france 24

US says top IS group commander killed

© Handout / US Department of State / AFP | A photo from the Department of State's Rewards For Justice Program shows senior Islamic State group commander Abd ar-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli, also known as Haji Iman.

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2016-03-25

The Islamic State (IS) group’s top finance officer and other senior leaders were likely killed this week in a major offensive targeting the militant group’s financial operation, US Defence Secretary Ash Carter said on Friday.

Carter said the United States believes it killed Haji Iman, a senior IS group leader in charge of the group’s finances as well as some plots and external affairs.

“We are systematically eliminating ISIL’s cabinet,” Carter told reporters at a briefing at the Pentagon, using an acronym to refer to the group.

NBC news reported that Haji Iman, who also went by Abd al-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli and other aliases, had been killed in a US air strike in Syria, citing defence officials.

But Carter declined to say where the attack took place, not whether Haji Iman was killed in a bombing raid involving manned aircraft or a drone strike.

The US Justice Department had offered a bounty of up to $7 million for information leading to Haji Iman.

"A few months ago when I said we were going to go after ISIL's financial infrastructure, we started with storage sites, and now we've taken out the leader who oversees their finances, hurting their ability to pay and hire recruits," Carter said.

"Our campaign plan is first and foremost to collapse ISIL's parent tumor in Iraq and Syria."

He said he was not aware of any link between Haji Imam and this week's terrorist attack in Brussels.

‘Senior, experienced leaders’

Carter also confirmed the likely killing earlier in the month of Omar al-Shishani, the man known as "Omar the Chechen," who was effectively the IS group’s defence minister.

Asked about the impact of these killings, Carter said, "Leaders can be replaced. However, these leaders have been around for a long time. They are senior, they are experienced."

The operations came as US officials said they were helping Iraqis prepare for a major operation in Mosul to take back territory from the IS group, which aims to establish a caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

US Marine General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Pentagon expects increased capabilities will be provided to Iraqis in preparation for Mosul operations in the coming months.

Haji Iman was born in the Iraqi city of Mosul, according to Iraqi security sources. He was in Afghanistan in the late 1990s.

He joined al Qaeda in 2004, and became a deputy to the group’s feared chief in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed in 2006 by an American drone strike.

Haji Iman was captured and imprisoned, but rejoined the IS group in Syria after he was freed in 2012.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)

Date created : 2016-03-25

  • BELGIUM

    Six people arrested in raids across Brussels

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Syrian forces claim to have entered ancient Palmyra

    Read more

  • Turkey

    Istanbul suicide bomber identified as IS group member

    Read more

COMMENT(S)