Coalition says senior Islamic State leader killed in Iraq

The operation was conducted on Nov. 21 in the Salahuddin governorate.

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi forces targeted and killed a senior Islamic State (IS) leader during an operation north of the capital Baghdad, the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) said in a statement on Monday.

The operation was conducted on Nov. 21 in the Salahuddin governorate, located north of Baghdad. The coalition’s statement said an IS fighter, known as “Katkut,” was killed.

The Salahuddin Operations Command “dispatched forces to pursue and capture [IS] militants which had recently conducted a rocket attack,” the statement read, adding Iraqi Security Forces killed Katkut before he could escape the scene.

According to the CJTF-OIR’s statement, the senior IS leader had operated out of al-Hadr, a region in the southwest of Mosul, once the extremist group’s stronghold.

He was also in charge of an IS mortar detachment, and his attacks led to the deaths and injuries of many Iraqi civilians and security forces as well as destruction to infrastructure in Salahuddin and Nineveh, it added.

“The removal of Katkut disrupts [IS’] leadership chain and reduces their ability to conduct terrorist attacks both within the region and abroad,” the statement quoted Brig. Gen. David Doyle, CJTF-OIR director of operations, as saying.

Despite Iraq declaring a “final victory” over the extremist group last December, IS continues to carry out sporadic attacks, kidnappings, and bombings in southern and central parts of the country, including formerly liberated areas.

The US-led coalition has supported Iraqi forces as well as Kurdish Peshmerga in the ongoing battle to eliminate IS’ threat from the region.