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الأحد، 3 أبريل 2016

Islamic State 'rocket expert' responsible for attack on US base killed in strike

Islamic State 'rocket expert' responsible for attack on US base killed in strike

The Guardian 
Jasim Khadijah, an Islamic State member believed to be responsible for a deadly attack by militants on US troops in northern Iraq last month, has been killed
Louis F Cardin Iraq

 US marines carry the casket of staff sgt Louis F Cardin, who was killed in an attack on a US bade in northern Iraq last month. Photograph: Frank Bellino/AP
The anti-Islamic State coalition conducting airstrikes in Iraq and Syria has killed the Isis extremist believed responsible for an attack by militants on US troops in northern Iraq last month that left a marine dead, it said on Sunday.
Jasim Khadijah, a former Iraqi officer not considered a high-value target, was killed by a drone strike overnight in northern Iraq, coalition spokesman US army colonel Steve Warren told reporters in Baghdad.
“We have information [that] he was a rocket expert, he controlled these attacks,” said Warren, referring to the shelling of a base used by US troops near the town of Makhmour, located between Mosul and Kirkuk.
That attack killed marine staff sergeant Louis Cardin and wounded eight others, all part of a company sized detachment of less than 200 troops that provides force protection fire to Iraqi army troops, who are making slow progress in a campaign to clear areas around Mosul, an Isis stronghold.
Cardin’s was the second combat death of an American service member in Iraq since the start of the campaign to fight the militant group in 2014.
Warren said five other Islamic State fighters were killed in the air strike.
In Syria, meanwhile, Syrian and allied forces backed by Russian air strikes drove Isis militants out of the town of al-Qaryatain on Sunday, Syria’s military command said.
Surrounded by hills, al-Qaryatain is 60 miles west of the ancient city of Palmyra, which government forces recaptured last Sunday.

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