Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook (file photo)
The United States military says that Daesh (ISIL)’s information minister, who oversaw the Takfiri group’s propaganda, has been killed in a US-led airstrike.
Wa'il Adil Hasan Salman al-Fayad, also known as Dr. Wa'il, was killed in Syria’s Raqqah province, the Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a statement Friday.
“Wa'il oversaw ISIL's production of terrorist propaganda videos showing torture and executions,” Cook said. “He was a close associate of Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, the ISIL spokesman and leader for plotting and inspiring external terror attacks.”
The Pentagon had previously confirmed that Adnani was killed in a US airstrike in Syria on August 30.
“The removal of ISIL’s senior leaders degrades its ability to retain territory, and its ability to plan, finance and direct attacks inside and outside of the region,” Cook noted. “We will continue to work with our coalition partners to build momentum in the campaign to deal ISIL a lasting defeat.”
American military officials admitted Friday that US special operations forces were accompanying Turkish government forces and their militant allies in Syria in their alleged fight against Daesh.
On August 24, Turkish special forces, tanks and jets backed by planes from the US-led coalition launched their first coordinated offensive in Syria. Damascus denounced the intervention as a breach of its sovereignty.
According to US Navy Captain Jeff Davis, the US military forces were advising and assisting Turkish forces in and around the Syrian town of Jarablus.
“We have been pleased to see the Turkish pursue this kind of decisive, strategically significant action that will aid our efforts,” he said.
Turkey is said to be among the main supporters of the militant groups active in Syria, with reports saying that Ankara actively trains and arms the Takfiri elements there and facilitates their safe passage into the violence-wracked state.
The US and its allies have been conducting airstrikes against purported Daesh positions in Syria and Iraq since 2014, without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.
The coalition has done little to stop Daesh's advances in Syria and Iraq.