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Coalition airstrikes have killed 10 leaders of in the Islamic State group, including several linked to the attacks in Paris in November, a coalition spokesman said recently.
“Over the past month, we’ve killed 10 ISIL leadership figures with targeted airstrikes, including several external attack planners, some of whom are linked to the Paris attacks,” said the spokesman, US Army Col. Steve Warren.
Warren shared few details on the strikes, but said many are carried out by Predator or other unmanned aerial vehicles and the continued airstrikes on Islamic State leadership have facilitated a series of gains on the ground in recent months. Together, the coalition has been building “a smothering pressure” on the Islamic State group, Warren said.
“Any organization that sees its upper and middle management degraded this way is going to lose some of their synergy, and it’s difficult to be able to conduct command and control without leaders to facilitate their activities,” Warren said. “We have seen some of that on the battlefield, a string of successes begin to pile up.”
Defense News reports that as of Dec. 28, the US and its coalition partners have conducted 9,220 airstrikes — 6,082 in Iraq and 3,138 in Syria, according to the Pentagon. The US leads the coalition with 7,143 strikes in both countries.
Though the men targeted and killed in the strikes appear to be mid-level operatives, several were charged with “external operations,” and one, a Syria-based Bangladeshi, Siful Haque Sujan, killed near Raqqah, Syria, supported the group’s “hacking efforts, anti-surveillance technology and weapons development.”
“We are striking at the head of this snake, but it’s still got fangs, and we have to be clear about that. There’s much more fighting to do,” Warren said.
Here are some of the attacks so far: