Coalition Strikes Kill ISIS Drone Experts


SOUTHWEST ASIA — Coalition airstrikes killed three senior and highly skilled Islamic State of Iraq and Syria officials near Mayadin, Syria, Sept. 12-14, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Abu Salman, an ISIS drone developer, was killed during airstrikes Sept. 14 while traveling with a terrorist associate in a vehicle from Mayadin to Asharah. His research workshop, located in Asharah, near Mayadin, was also destroyed in the strikes. His death and the destruction of his drone facility greatly disrupt ISIS’ development of weaponized drones and testing of new software.

Abu Muadh al-Tunisi and Sajid Farooq Babar were killed on Sept. 12 and 13, respectively, by coalition airstrikes near Mayadin. Both were responsible for manufacturing and modifying commercially produced drones.

“The removal of these key ISIS leaders disrupts and degrades ISIS’ ability to modify and employ drone platforms as reconnaissance and direct fire weapons on the battlefield,” said coalition spokesman Army Col. Ryan Dillon.

The coalition will continue to exert pressure on ISIS senior leaders and associates across multiple networks to degrade, disrupt and dismantle ISIS structures and defeat terrorists throughout Iraq and Syria.

U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria yesterday, conducting 39 strikes consisting of 50 engagements, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of yesterday’s strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Strikes in Syria

In Syria, coalition military forces conducted 34 strikes consisting of 37 engagements against ISIS targets:

— Near Abu Kamal, a strike destroyed an ISIS staging area.

— Near Dayr Az Zawr, five strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units, destroyed two fighting positions and a supply route and damaged a fighting position.

— Near Raqqa, 26 strikes engaged eight ISIS tactical units and destroyed 14 fighting positions, six vehicles and an improvised explosive device and suppressed six fighting positions.

— Near Shadaddi, two strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit, destroyed a mortar system and suppressed a fighting position.

Strikes in Iraq

In Iraq, coalition military forces conducted five strikes consisting of 13 engagements against ISIS targets:

— Near Fallujah, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit.

— Near Huwijah, two strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units and destroyed two staging areas, a command-and-control node, a headquarters and a weapons cache.

— Near Qaim, a strike destroyed an ISIS staging area.

— Near Rawah, a strike destroyed two ISIS vehicle-borne-bomb facilities.

Previous Strikes

Additionally, six strikes consisting of nine engagements were conducted in Syria and Iraq on Sept. 27 that closed within the last 24 hours.

— Near Raqqa, Syria, three strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed two fighting positions.

— Near Shadaddi, Syria, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit.

— Near Huwijah, Iraq, two strikes destroyed 51 ISIS vehicles and five vehicle-borne-bombs.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

These strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The destruction of ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria also further limits the group’s ability to project terror and conduct external operations throughout the region and the rest of the world, task force officials said.

The list above contains all strikes conducted by fighter, attack, bomber, rotary-wing or remotely piloted aircraft; rocket-propelled artillery; and some ground-based tactical artillery when fired on planned targets, officials noted.

Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike, they added. A strike, as defined by the coalition, refers to one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single or cumulative effect.

For example, task force officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIS vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of ISIS-held buildings and weapon systems in a compound, having the cumulative effect of making that facility harder or impossible to use. Strike assessments are based on initial reports and may be refined, officials said.

The task force does not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.


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