The Aug. 30 airstrike on Abu Muhammad al-Adnani near al-Bab, Syria “removes from the battlefield ISIL’s chief propagandist, recruiter and architect of external terrorist operations,” according to spokesman Peter Cook.
“It is one in a series of successful strikes against ISIL leaders, including those responsible for finances and military planning, that make it harder for the group to operate,” he said. “We will not rest in our efforts to destroy ISIL’s parent tumor in Iraq and Syria, combat its metastases around the world, and protect our homeland.”
The Pentagon previously stopped short of confirming al-Adnani’s death and Russia claimed that it carried out the strike on the extremist leader, clouding responsibility.
Al-Adnani, born in 1977 in Syria’s Idlib countryside, was known for his nearness to Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In addition to being the group’s spokesman, he headed its external operations wing.
He is reported to have carefully orchestrated Daesh’s gruesome videos that have circulated online, and called on Daesh sympathizers to use any means at their disposal to carry out attacks in the West.
The State Department had offered a $5 million reward for information about al-Adnani, who was one of the most wanted terrorists in the world.