Senior ISIS commander Gulmurod Khalimov was eliminated in a coalition airstrike on Mosul
Gulmurod Khalimov, the highest ranking ISIS chief in Mosul and described as the jihadists’ minister of war, died when the missile struck in the west of the city last week.
It was the third time in recent months that Khalimov, who was originally from Tajikistan, had been the target of an airstrike, according to an Iraqi military source.
The source said that Khalimov, who received training from US special forces during his time as a colonel in Tajikistan’s army, had been responsible for planning the jihadists’ defence of Mosul and was behind hundreds of car bombings against the coalition.
Iraqi police officers on patrol in Mosul
He became minister of war for Isis last September after the death of his predecessor, Abu Omar al-Shishani.
He was the terror group’s highest ranking member in Mosul and second only to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Last August a £2.3 million bounty was put on Khalimov’s head by the US government, which described him as an international terrorist.
Iraqi forces take up positions as part of the Mosul operation
After disappearing from Tajikistan in April 2015, he surfaced the next month in an ISIS video in which he said: “Listen, you American pigs: I’ve been to America three times.
“I saw how you train soldiers to kill Muslims.
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"You taught your soldiers how to surround and attack in order to exterminate Islam and Muslims.”
Iraqi forces are trying to re-take the city from ISIS
Chilling photographs released from Mosul
Thu, March 16, 2017
U.S.-backed Iraqi forces push further into the Islamic State-held western half of Mosul, capturing a damaged bridge which could link up their units on either side of the Tigris river
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An Iraqi special forces soldier checks men for explosive belts as they cross from Islamic State controlled part of Mosul to Iraqi forces controlled part of Mosul
ISIS has suffered several losses over the past year.
Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, a Syrian who was the jihadists’ official spokesman, and Shishani were killed in airstrikes.
Baghdadi is believed to have fled Mosul and is now hiding somewhere along the Iraqi border with Syria.