The US-led military coalition killed the Finance Minister of the Islamic State also known as ISIL or ISIS during an operation this week, according to the Pentagon on Friday.
During a news conference, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced the death of Haji Iman, the second senior leader and finance minister of ISIL. Haji Iman was also responsible for some of the external affairs and plots of the terrorist group.
Sec. Carter said, “We are systematically eliminating ISIL’s cabinet.” He added that Haji Iman was well-known among the ranks of the terrorist group. His real name is Abd al-Rahman Muhammad Mustafa al-Qaduli.
Haji Iman was responsible for directing the funding of the terrorist group through its networks. He also managed the daily operations of ISIL in Iraq, Syria and Libya. He previously worked under Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as liaison for operations in Pakistan.
Haji Iman’s death hurts ISIL’s ability to pay fighters and recruits
“The removal of this ISIL leader will hamper the organization’s ability to conduct operation both inside and outside of Iraq and Syria. This is the second senior ISIL leader we’ve successfully targeted this month. “We’ve taken out the leader who oversees the funding for ISIL’s operations, hurting their ability to pay fighters and hire recruits,” said Carter
The Pentagon also recently confirmed the death of the ISIL’s minister of war, Omar al-Shishani in an earlier operation.
“Leaders can be replaced. However, these leaders have been around for a long time. They are senior. They’re experienced. So eliminating them is an important objective and achieves an important result,” said Carter.
According to Carter, the operations this week also targeted Abu Sara, one of the top ISIL leaders responsible for paying fighters in Northern Iraq. The US-led military coalition also targeted the some associates of the terrorist group directly involved in external plotting and training.
U.S. military will continue to work with coalition partners
Carter said, “We believe these actions have been successful and have done damage to ISIL. The United States military will continue to work intensively with our coalition partners to build on this progress as our counterparts throughout our government work to defend our homeland at the same time.”
Carter cannot confirm whether Haji Iman was directly involved in the Paris attacks and the recent bombings in Brussels. However, he said the terrorists involved in those attacks were ISIL recruits outside Iraq and Syria. These recruits served as foreign fighters and returned home to commit terrorist attacks. He added that in other cases, homegrown terrorists were simply inspired by ISIL to carry out attacks.
“Even if it’s just inspiration, it still takes you back to Iraq and Syria and the need to eliminate the sources of that inspiration. We need to combat them all,” according to Carter.