The US-led coalition force claimed Thursday to have killed the finance minister of Islamic State, Abu Saleh, along with two other senior officials in late November strikes in Iraq.
From the Iraqi capital Baghdad the military coalition spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said Saleh was one of the senior most and experienced members of the Isis group’s financial network. He was a former al-Qaeda member too.
Brookings Institution reveals real name of Abu Salah was Muafaq Mustafa Mohammed al-Karmoush.
The two other senior Isis leaders killed were Abu Maryam and Abu Wakman al-Tunisi. Both were involved in extortion activities.
Warren added, “Killing him (Salah) and his predecessors exhausts the knowledge and talent needed to co-ordinate funding within the organisation”
Pentagon also announced the killing of a senior leader of Isis in Libya.
The airstrike was announced by Pentagon and the US Treasury added a significant part of the $500 million earning of the terror group came from sales of oil with the Assad regime.
Acting undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence Adam Szubin said at Chatham House in London the Isis has collected millions of dollars from extorting local populations and looted up to $1 billion from bank vaults that it captured in Iraq and Syria.
Szubin added the stepped-up airstrikes by coalition and other forces against the oil infrastructure of Isis over past few weeks degraded the funds that the group raised from selling energy.
He further added the Isis and Assad are trying to slaughter each other, but still the two are engaged in trade involving millions of dollars in oil deal. Apart from this, the oil deal has also crossed territory and reached into Turkey or into the Kurdish regions.
Warren said the coalition airstrikes killed more than three hundred Isis fighters too in Ramadi and this could be about half of the group’s force that defended the Iraqi city.
Isis captured Ramadi earlier this year in May and US provided air support to the Iraqi forces to regain control on the city.
US Defence secretary Ashton Carter meanwhile said they may use Apache attack helicopters if the Iraqi government fails to take control of Ramadi from Isis.
Around 10,000 Iraqi forces are fighting with the Isis fighters that are less in number. However, the US officials are yet reluctant to say when Ramadi would be recaptured.
Carter mentioned Thursday the progress is far slow and disappointing.
Last month Russia announced intelligence-sharing agreement with Syrian regime, Iran and Iraq.
Russia has also stepped-up airstrikes against the Isis targets in Syria. Its military officials said warplanes have carried out dozens of strikes during the weekend.
Col. Gen. Andrei Kartapolov from Russian armed forces’ General Staff said panic and desertion have started among the Isis fighters and they are trying to flee to Europe.
Russia said a concrete-piercing bomb destroyed a command center of the Isis and also an ammunition center near Raqqa, the stronghold of Isis. The airstrikes have also disrupted the logistic support of the group apart from damaging the infrastructure.