Three senior commanders of the Islamic State group, including two who were allegedly involved in facilitating last year’s deadly terror attacks in Paris, have been killed in a coalition airstrike in Syria, the U.S. military says.
The three were killed in a coalition precision airstrike in Al-Raqqah on December 4, though the news was not announced until Tuesday after the U.S. military completed its assessment of the strike. Al-Raqqah, located in northern Syria, is the self-proclaimed capital of the Islamic State.
Two of those killed were identified as Salah Gourmat and Sammy Djedou, whom are accused of being involved in the facilitation of the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris. The third was identified as suicide attack planner Walid Hamman, who was convicted in absentia in Belgium for his involvement in a terror plot that was disrupted last year.
Gourmat and Djedou are both believed to have been associates of Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, who served as the group’s spokesman and chief of external operations when he was killed in an airstrike in August. All three are believed to have been part of a network led by Boubaker Al-Hakim, who was killed in another airstrike on November 26.
“The three were working together to plot and facilitate attacks against Western targets at the time of the strike,” Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a statement. “This strike highlights our relentless efforts to simultaneously target ISIL members who seek to attack the United States, our interests, and our allies around the world.”
The attacks in Paris happened on the night of November 13, 2015, when a group of Islamic State (ISIS) militants opened fire at restaurants and a theater, killing 130 people and injuring hundreds more, making them the worst attacks in France since the end of World War II.
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