11 Dec 2015

Islamic State finance chief 'killed in air strikes'

10:12 am on 11 December 2015

The finance chief of Islamic State (IS) has been killed in air strikes by the US-led coalition, according to the US military.

Alleged ISIL fighters raising their weapons as they stand on a vehicle mounted with the trademark Jihadists' flag at an undisclosed location in Anbar province

Alleged IS fighters raising their weapons as they stand on a vehicle mounted with the trademark Jihadists' flag in Anbar province Photo: AFP

Muwaffaq Mustafa Mohammed al-Karmoush, aka Abu Salah, and two other senior leaders were killed in the strikes which took place in "recent weeks", a US military spokesman said.

No further details were given.

The coalition has been carrying out air strikes against IS militants in Iraq and Syria for over a year. One recently also killed an IS leader in Libya.

US military spokesman Colonel Steve Warren confirmed the deaths in a video call from the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

Abu Salah was the code name for Muwaffaq Mustafa Mohammed al-Karmoush.

He appeared on the US Treasury's Counter Terrorism Designations list setting out sanctioned individuals.

It listed him as an Iraqi national who was born in 1973.

Col Warren called Abu Salah "one of the most senior and experienced members" of the militant group's financial network.

"Killing him and his predecessors exhausts the knowledge and talent needed to co-ordinate funding within the organisation," Col Warren said.

He said the other leaders killed were Abu Mariam, a senior chief responsible for extortion activities, and Abu Waqman al-Tunis, who co-ordinated the transfer of people, weapons and information.

On Twitter, Brett McGurk, special US presidential envoy for the global coalition to counter IS, said the three were killed "as part of the coalition campaign to destroy Isil's (Islamic State's) financial infrastructure".

On Monday, the Pentagon confirmed a US air strike had killed a senior IS leader in Libya.

Abu Nabil died after an F-15 jet targeted a compound in the eastern city of Derna on 13 November, it said.