21 Aug 15. NSC: Airstrike takes out ISIS second-in-command. The air campaign against the Islamic State group removed a significant bad guy from the battlefield on Aug. 18, when a U.S. military airstrike killed the terrorist group’s second in command, according to the National Security Council.
Fadhil Ahmad al-Hayali, also known as Hajji Mutazz, was killed when his vehicle was destroyed near Mosul, NSC spokesman Ned Price said in an Aug. 21 statement. Al-Hayali was in charge of coordinating the movement of weapons, explosives, vehicles and people between Iraq and Syria.
“He supported ISIL [Islamic State] operations in both countries and was in charge of ISIL operations in Iraq, where he was instrumental in planning operations over the past two years, including the ISIL offensive in Mosul in June 2014,” Price said in the statement. “Al-Hayali’s death will adversely impact ISIL’s operations given that his influence spanned ISIL’s finance, media, operations, and logistics.”
(Source: Defense News)
21 Aug 15. General Reports Progress in Inherent Resolve Operations. The Iraq Security Forces are making daily progress in Ramadi during a difficult counterattack against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the chief of staff of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve said.
Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Kevin J. Killea, briefed the press here on operations in Iraq and Syria and ongoing discussions with Turkey about their support in the campaign against ISIL.
“The ISF forces remain measured and deliberate in their advances and they are taking the necessary time to clear ground that is littered with ISIL obstacles and (homemade bombs),” Killea said. “As you can imagine, explosive ordnance disposal teams and equipment are an extremely important resource for the ISF right now.”
The general added, “That device has become ISIL’s lead weapon of choice in any kind of probing attacks or even setting up future offenses where they go into new areas.”
Fight in Ramadi
Multiple units that the coalition has helped train are participating in the Ramadi fight, he added. The 73rd and 76th brigades, trained by coalition partners Australia and New Zealand, are doing well, as are about 600 Sunni tribal fighters who participated in the advise-and-assist program, the general said.
Also in Iraq, the situation in Beiji remains hotly contested, Killea said.
Beiji city remains mainly in the control of the Iraqi army and popular mobilization forces, he added, and the ISF continue to position forces to gain an advantage in the oil refinery north of the city, he said.
“The oil refinery area is truly an attack-counterattack situation being played out on a daily basis. Coalition airstrikes combined with timely ISF maneuvers have provided positional advantages while denying ISIL momentum during these counterattacks,” the general said.
ISF forces control about a third of the refinery area, and in the south ISF and PMF have secured at least 80 percent of the city, the general said. They’re working to secure the rest of the city and stay in front of ISIL’S attacks and isolation efforts in the city’s south, Killea explained.
“ISIL continues to send reinforcements to this battleground, where coalition airstrikes have been very successful in targeting and eliminating them,” he said.
Killea called Turkey a valued partner in the campaign against ISIL, adding that the country “has been a standing part of the coalition for some time now, and for the last two weeks we have been working on deepening their involvement in the CJTF anti-ISIL operations.”
For coalition efforts against ISIL, the broader use of Incirlik Air Base in Turkey for air operations in Syria is already proving to be a great effects multiplier on the battlefield, he said.
Including Turkey, Killea added, “we have 10 different coalition partners participating in airstrike operations in Iraq and/or Syria. Without this coalition effort, ISF and anti-ISIL advances o