The Islamic State’s supposed 2nd in command was killed by US forces in Syria; although Defense Secretary Ahston Carter would not say whether it was through an airstrike or a Special Forces raid. Abd al-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli was known to be the finance minister of the militant group, and was very close to the Islamic State’s leader, Abu bakr al-Baghdadi. Qaduli was a former affiliate of Al-Qaeda, where he rose through the ranks to second in command under Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Eventually pledging allegiance to ISIS, Qaduli turned into Baghdadi’s right hand man and was even perceived to be his successor if he was ever killed.
Ashton Carter did admit that ISIS tends to replace their leaders with relative ease, but he asserted: “We are systematically eliminating ISIL’s cabinet”.
He acknowledged how hard it would be to achieve that goal, but Carter was persistent in saying the US would keep working to take out the Islamic State’s leadership. This comes at a time when opponents of ISIS are focusing more on deteriorating the group’s power in the Middle East; Iraqi forces have launched an operation to retake Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul along with European police conducting massive raids throughout the continent, in light of the Brussels terrorist attacks. ISIS is facing the most pressure it has faced since the group claimed large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria back in 2014.
The world is taking action against ISIS more than ever, so stay up to date on new developments involving the terrorist group in our “Breaking News” section.
–Contributed by R.A.