ISIS leader’s top aide killed in air strike

Photo: ISIS leader’s top aide killed in air strike
 / Arab World

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has lost his aide after a strike on the ISIS-held city of Mosul, in northern Iraq, the Iraqi defense ministry said Thursday.

Another ISIS figure was also declared dead, the ministry added, Al Arabiya reported.

Iraq and the United States have both been carrying out airstrikes against ISIS targets, after the militant group seized large parts of the country's north and west.

The U.S., which began carrying out airstrikes in Iraq in early August after its troop withdrawal in 2011, is now taking the lead in attempts to form an international coalition to intensify strikes against ISIS militants.

Today, UK Prime Minister David Cameron indicated his country might be willing to join such an effort, in remarks at the opening of this week's NATO summit in Wales.

Baghdadi, who was a prominent figure in the Sunni extremist response to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the later Sunni insurgency, has declared himself the caliph of an Islamic State in the territories his organization has seized in Iraq and northeastern Syria.

He has been leader of ISIS since it was formed in 2013, and was previously the leader of ISIS's predecessor, the Islamic State of Iraq.

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