Senior jihadi leader killed in joint US-Kurdish special operation

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Militants of the Islamic State. File photo

ARA News 

ERBIL A joint operation carried out by Kurdish security forces and US special forces in northern Iraq has led to the death of a senior member of the Islamic State extremist group (ISIS), officials reported. 

According to Iraqi Kurdistan’s security council, ISIS top commander Sami Jassim Mohammed Al-Jabouri was killed in a US-Kurdish operation near the Iraqi-Syrian border on Thursday. 

“In the early hours of this morning a joint operation was conducted by our Directorate General of Counter Terrorism (CTD) and U.S. Special Forces in the vicinity of Qaim near the Iraqi-Syrian border killing senior Islamic State (ISIS) member Sami Jassim Mohammed Al-Jabouri, known by the nom de guerre Haji Hamad,” the Kurdish Region Security Council  (KRSC) said in a press statement.

According to the KRSC, Al-Jabouri was responsible for ISIS’s natural resources in Iraq and Syria.

“He and an aide were killed in the operation,” the KRSC said.

This is not the first operation carried out jointly by Kurdish and US special forces.

Both in Syria and in Iraq, Kurdish forces and US special forces cooperate together against ISIS.

The KRSC is headed by Masrour Barzani and oversees security and intelligence community in Kurdistan Region and, as of Aug 2014, coordinates coalition airstrikes against ISIS in northern Iraq.

Speaking to ARA News, Ceng Sagnic, a researcher with the Tel Aviv-based Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, said the cooperation between the Kurdistan Region and the US-led coalition against ISIS is not surprising. 

“There’s a joint operation room in Erbil [capital of Iraqi Kurdistan] and all these airstrikes are coordinated from there,” he said. “The coalition makes significant use of KRG intelligence that has established its ground networks in other parts of Iraq prior to the ISIS expansion into this country.” 

“Most of those intelligence networks were in use for the surveillance of Iraqi and Sunni insurgent movements, but are now used against ISIS. Another factor is the KRG’s strong relations with the Sunni tribes in Nineveh, leaders of which are mostly based in Erbil. These contacts give the KRG the ability to gather intelligence from local sources,” the security analyst told ARA News.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg

Source: ARA News

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