Southwest Asia –
SOUTHWEST ASIA – Coalition airstrikes continue to target and kill ISIS leaders and foreign fighters in Syria to support Coalition partner forces and degrade ISIS' ability to inspire, resource and direct terror attacks around the world.
Most recently, the Coalition targeted and killed ISIS leaders involved in directing external operations as well as bomb making directed at regional and Western targets.
Coalition forces killed Abd al-Ghafur, a Syria-based ISIS external operations official, and one associate in an airstrike July 24 near Albu Kamal, Syria. His assistant, Abu Hammam, and three other ISIS members were killed by a Coalition airstrike July 16 near Dayr Az Zawr, Syria.
Abd Al-Ghafur and Abu Hammam were responsible for managing and directing external operations attacks and participated in attack plotting against the Middle East and Western targets. Their removal deprives ISIS of well-connected members with links to trans-regional terror support networks.
Abu Futtum, an ISIS explosives specialist, and one associate were killed in an airstrike July 13 near Mayadin, Syria. As a bomb maker, Futtum was a part of ISIS' network that instructs and incites others to take the same destructive actions, encouraging lone wolf attacks across the globe using homemade explosives.
The Coalition also targeted ISIS foreign fighters from southeast Europe operating in Syria as ISIS recruiters, facilitators and attack plotters, responsible for multiple atrocities within Syria.
Lavdrim Muhaxheri was killed by a Coalition airstrike June 7, 2017, near Mayadin, Syria. Muhaxheri was an ethnic Albanian from Kacanc, Kosovo, and a self-proclaimed leader of ISIS foreign fighters from Kosovo.
He was known as the most prominent and radical ethnic Albanian fighter in Syria and was directly responsible for inciting jihadist ideology within European communities and encouraging foreign fighters to travel to ISIS-controlled territory. He was also responsible for planning numerous terrorist attacks, including the failed plot to bomb the 2016 Israel-Albania soccer match in Albania.
Furthermore, we can confirm the deaths of four senior ISIS associates of Muhaxheri. Jetmir Ismaili, an ISIS external terror attack planner, was killed by a Coalition airstrike in Raqqah, Syria, in late June. Ismaili had key connections with ISIS external terror attack planners in Europe and Syria, and personally planned and coordinated external ISIS terror attacks.
Razim Kastrati, an ISIS external terror attack coordinator, was killed along with five other ISIS fighters by a Coalition airstrike on June 16 near Mayadin, Syria. Kastrati moved and trained foreign fighters from southeast Europe to Syria and was involved in plotting external attacks.
Irfan Hafiqi, a fellow ethnic Albanian and deputy to Muhaxheri, was killed by a Coalition airstrike on June 7 near Qayira, Syria. Haqifi was involved in plotting terror attacks abroad, and was responsible for recruiting ISIS fighters from Southeast Europe and facilitating their movements to Syria.
Orhan Ramadani, was killed by a Coalition airstrike on May 21 near Mayadin, Syria. Ramadani was responsible for actively planning external terror attacks from Syria.
ISIS poses a global threat because of its commitment to plot, direct and incite terror attacks, and its ability to recruit, move, and finance the terrorists who commit those attacks. The Coalition will continue to target and kill ISIS terrorists in Iraq and Syria until ISIS is removed from the region and no longer pose a threat to national homelands around the world.