Iraqi Counter Terrorism Forces (ICT) announced on Tuesday the death of a senior leader of the Islamic State (ISIS) group in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor.
This is the third killing of an ISIS leader in the province in the past two weeks.
ICT confirmed the death of senior ISIS figure Mootaz Noman al-Jubouri, known as Wali (Governor) of Iraq in an official statement on Tuesday.
“After the information provided by the agency [ICT] that led to the assassination of the terrorist Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, we announce to our great people today the killing of the terrorist Moataz Numan Abdul Nayef Najm Al-Jubouri (Hajji Tayseer), who occupies the position of the so-called Wali of Iraq,” the statement read.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi praised the role of ICT in killing al-Jubouri, his spokesperson Yehia Rasool tweeted on Tuesday.
Al-Jubouri was killed in Deir ez-Zor province in eastern Syria by an airstrike conducted by the US-led coalition forces, according to the statement.
يحيى رسول | Yehia Rasool
رئيس مجلس الوزراء القائد العام للقوات المسلحة السيد مصطفى الكاظمي @MAKadhimi ، يشكر ويثمن جهود جهاز المخابرات الوطني وجهاز مكافحة الارهاب @iraqicts على تنسيقهم العالي بتبادل المعلومات التي ادت الى قتل الارهابي معتز نومان عبد نايف نجم الجبوري المكنى (حجي تيسير).
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) also assisted in the strike but have not confirmed Jubouri’s death, according to Iraqi security analyst Husham al-Hashimi.
This is the third ISIS leader to be killed this month in Deir ez-Zor, home to ISIS’ last stronghold of Baghouz, which was liberated in March 2019.
On Friday the US-led coalition announced the death of two ISIS leaders in a coalition airstrike.
The strike killed Ahmad ‘Isa Ismail al-Zawi, otherwise known as Abu Ali al-Baghdadi, the terror group’s leader in North Baghdad, and Ahmad ‘Abd Muhammad Hasan al-Jughayfi, a senior supplies and logistics leader across Iraq and Syria.
“The removal of these ISIS leaders will disrupt future attacks against innocent civilians and our security partners and in the region,” the coalition added.
The deaths of al-Jubouri, Zawi and Jughayfi deal yet another blow to the extremist militant group, which remains active throughout Iraq’s disputed territories and eastern Syria.
ISIS controlled vast swathes of Iraq and Syria at the height of its power between 2014 and 2016. Though the group was declared defeated in Iraq in December 2017 and in Syria in March 2019, the group have maintained the ability to carry out insurgent attacks including kidnappings, killings and ambushes, particularly in rural areas – as reiterated by a Pentagon report on the group’s activities published last week.
Though the deaths and detentions of high-profile figures leave a “surely weakened” ISIS, they are not enough to definitively destroy the group, Hashimi told Rudaw on Thursday.