Iraq announces the killing of ISIS 'governor of Iraq'
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – On Tuesday, the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) announced the killing of Mutaz al-Jabouri, the Islamic State's so-called governor, or “Wali,” of Iraq in an airstrike by the international coalition in the Syrian province of Deir al-Zor.
Jabouri was one of three senior Islamic State leaders for whom the US State Department announced in August that it was offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to their capture.
Although Jabouri was in Syria when he was killed, he, along with the two others for whom the State Department offered the $5 million rewards, are Iraqis.
The Rewards for Justice (RFJ) program, the State Department unit which offered the money, described Jabouri as “one of the most important leaders in ISIS.” He was, “as of mid-2017,” the “deputy amir of manufacturing in Syria,” where he “was in charge of the Research Department for ISIS’s chemical and biological efforts,” RFJ explained.
According to the statement by the Iraqi CTS, “After the information provided by [CTS] agency, which led to the death of terrorist Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and arrest of the terrorist Abdul Nasser Qardash, today we announce to the Iraqi people the killing of the terrorist Mutaz Noman Abdul-Naif al-Jabouri, nicknamed Hajji Taysir.”
The CTS statement noted the most significant Islamic State figures whose arrest or death has been announced over the past seven months.
Baghdadi was the Iraqi cleric who served as the religious face of the so-called Islamic State, He died during a US Special Forces raid last October in Syria’s Idlib Province.
Last week, the Iraqi National Intelligence Service announced Qardash’s arrest. The Security Media Cell, Iraq's military press center, explained that Qardash’s real name is Taha Abdul Rahim Abdullah Bakr al-Ghassani. He is from Tal Afar, a Turkmen majority city in Nineveh Province, and he, himself, is a Turkman.
Tuesday’s statement from the CTS said that Jabouri had been the assistant head of the organization's “State Affairs,” and he had been responsible for planning and coordinating external terrorist operations.
“After following up the movements of this dangerous terrorist and his continued movements inside and outside Iraq, he was targeted by an airstrike by the International Coalition against ISIS in the Syrian region of Deir al-Zor, according to accurate intelligence information by the Counter-Terrorism Service,” the statement added.
It noted that Jabouri held more than one passport, as well as other forged identity documents, which he used to travel, and he never used communication devices out of fear that it would result in his being located by security forces.
Jabouri was earlier a member of al Qaida in Iraq, the State Department explained. So, too, was Qardash, as the Security Media Cell similarly stated.
When Qardash’s arrest was announced last week, some experts complained that he had been captured a year ago and dismissed the announcement as “old news.”
Yet Iraq’s Security Media Cell said as much at the time. It noted that Qardash had been seized in Syria, “in coordination” with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), following the Battle of Baghouz.
Given the extreme steps that Jabouri took to conceal his location, possibly, the information that led to his demise was linked to Qardash’s detention and interrogation, as well as last week’s announcement of that.
Editing by Laurie Mylroie