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CENTCOM Does Not Confirm Reports About ISIL Deputy Leader Killing

© Flickr / thierry ehrmannIslamic State
Islamic State - Sputnik International
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The US Central Command can not confirm that the deputy leader of the Islamic State was killed in a coalition airstrike in Iraq, and denied that the coalition stroke a mosque where the alleged killing occurred, the Command said in a press release on Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Iraqi Ministry of Defense announced on its website on Wednesday that, according to critical intelligence information, the second-ranking ISIL leader Abu Alaa al-Afri was killed during an airstrike led by the international coalition forces. The Ministry claimed that the killing occurred during a gathering at a mosque.

© AP Photo / Karim KadimIraqi security forces participate in a drill as U.S. forces help train them in Taji, north of Baghdad, Iraq.
Iraqi security forces participate in a drill as U.S. forces help train them in Taji, north of Baghdad, Iraq. - Sputnik International
Iraqi security forces participate in a drill as U.S. forces help train them in Taji, north of Baghdad, Iraq.

“We are aware of media reports that the second-in-command of ISIL has been killed in a Coalition air strike in Tal Afar, and have no information to corroborate these claims. However, we can confirm that Coalition aircraft did not strike a mosque as some of the press reporting has alleged,” the release read.

The Central Command explained that they have “significant mitigation measures in place within the targeting process and during the conduct of operations to reduce the potential risks of collateral damage and civilian casualties.”

The Islamic State is a radical Sunni group in control of large areas in Iraq and Syria and notorious for kidnappings and violent executions of civilians.

A US-led coalition of over 60 nations is currently carrying out airstrikes against ISIL positions in Iraq and neighboring Syria.

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