Russia is claiming to have carried out the airstrike that killed one of ISIS’s most senior leaders, despite the fact that the US-led Coalition had laid claim to the attack earlier.
According to NBC, the Russians claim that they killed Abu Muhammad Al-Adnani with an attack carried out by an Su-34 bomber flying over Maaratat-Umm Khaush, Syria.
The United States has rebuked this claim, saying that Russia did not strike the killing blow.
“We have no reason to believe Russia’s claim,” the official told NBC News. Earlier, a U.S. defense official told Reuters, “Russia’s claim is a joke.”
Al-Adnani, whose real name is Taha Sobhi Falaha, persistently called for attacks against the West.
The Department of Defense issued an initial press release yesterday saying that “ coalition forces conducted a precision strike near Al Bab, Syria, targeting Abu Muhammad Al-Adnani, one of ISIL’s most senior leaders. “
While the Americans say that they are conducting a proper assessment of the airstrike in order to definitively confirm the death of Al-Adnani, the Russians assert their own claim of killing the ISIS spokesman, citing “several intelligence channels.”
Al-Adnani was known for his charisma and issued an edict in September of 2014, calling for lone-wolf attacks in the West.
“If you can kill a disbelieving American or European -especially the spiteful and filthy French- or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be,” he said in an audio recording.
“Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him.”
In a short time, he was quickly propelled up the US “kill list”, becoming a priority target.
One of the first foreign fighters to oppose U.S. Coalition Forces in Iraq after he crossed the border from his native Syria in 2003, Al-Adnani was one of the early members of Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and had reportedly been captured in 2005, being released by US forces in 2010.
His death comes less than six months after two other top ISIS officials were killed.
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