WASHINGTON The U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria has killed the group’s finance minister and two other senior leaders in air strikes in current weeks, a U.S. military spokesman said on Thursday.
Army Colonel Steve Warren told a Pentagon briefing coalition strikes had killed Abu Salah, Islamic State’s economic minister, in late November.
“He was 1 of the most senior and seasoned members of ISIL’s monetary network and he was a legacy Al Qaeda member,” Warren said.
Warren stated Salah was the third member of the finance network who had been killed in as numerous months.
“Killing him and his predecessors exhausts the understanding and talent required to coordinate funding inside the organization,” Warren added.
According to a Brooking Institute report, Abu Salah’s true name is Muafaq Mustafa Mohammed al- Karmoush.
Warren stated a senior leader responsible for coordinating the group’s extortion activities and an additional leader who acted as an executive officer had also been killed.
The Islamic State, which the United States calls the wealthiest militant group of its sort in history, has a quantity of income streams.
It has built up what amounts to a “sturdy and resilient financial portfolio,” funded by oil sales, extortion, and sales of antiquities, mentioned Thomas Sanderson, an professional on terrorism at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Lately, U.S. defense officials estimated that Islamic State was earning about $ 47 million per month from oil sales prior to October.
That very same month, the Pentagon began an operation recognized as “Tidal Wave II” targeting Islamic State’s oil income.
Warren stated it was too early to inform what the impact of the strikes had been and that it was similar to a boxing match.
“You function the body in (the) early rounds and perhaps you will not get a knockout from those early round body shots, but several rounds later you are going to see your… opponents knees start to get weak … and now he’s beginning to get set up for the knockout,” Warren mentioned.
(Reporting by Idrees Ali and David Alexander Editing by Tom Brown)