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ISIS second in command killed in US air strike

14 October 2015, 08:17

Beirut - The Islamic State has confirmed in an audio recording that the group's second in command was killed in a US air strike earlier this year.

"Americans were overjoyed with the killing of Abu Mutaz al Qurashi and thought it was a victory ... we tell them he did not die. He has left heroes to fight the Americans and their allies," spokesperson Abu Mohamed al-Adnani said in an audio recording posted on the ISIS-affiliated website al-Furqan.

The US announced on August 21 that Qurashi, also known as Fadhil Ahmad al-Hayali, was killed on August 18 in a US air strike near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

Al Adnani did not say when or where al Qurashi was killed.

In a 40-minute audio message the spokesperson vowed to fight American and Russian forces, both of which are targeting Islamic State fighters in Syria.

"The soldiers of the Islamic State are waiting for you ... our forces are getting stronger by the day and you Americans are getting weaker and weaker ... we are there waiting for you on the ground," he said.

The announcement came two days after the Iraqi army said that its air force had struck a convoy with Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in an area controlled by the extremist militia in western Iraq.

Al Adnani, touching on the fighting inside Syria, warned Islamist rebels against fighting his jihadist group, calling on them to repent and join his forces, pledging "to kill all groups and smash armies" confornting them.

The Islamic State controls large swathes of Syria and neighbouring Iraq and has set up an Islamic "caliphate" in areas they took control of and imposed strict Islamic rules.


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