Time: 11:21 p.m. CEST
An airstrike by the U.S.– led coalition killed three Islamic State group leaders in Syria, the Pentagon and the White House announced on Tuesday.
Today we confirm the deaths of precision coalition air strikes to three Islamic State leaders in Raqqa, Salah Gourmat, Sammy Djedou, and Walid Hamman. Hamman was French-Algerian and Djedou was Belgian, Special Presidential Envoy for Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, Brett McGurk said, during the White House news briefing on Tuesday.
Raqqa remains ISIL’s administrative capital and it is under more pressure now, than before. Forces, partnered with our coalition entirely separated paths between Raqqa and ISIL locations in Iraq and Syrian democratic forces in coalition with local forces are steadily advancing Raqqa with the aim to isolate the city, Special Presidential Envoy for Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, McGurk said.
The third target, Hamman, was a “suicide attack planner” who was convicted in his absence in Belgium for a disrupted terror plot last year, the Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook added. As Cook said, “All three were part of a network led by Boubaker Al-Hakim, a militant linked to the Charlie Hebdo magazine attack on Jan. 7, 2015. Al-Hakim was killed in another coalition airstrike on Nov. 16.”
The attacks in Raqqa against Islamic State militants happened at the beginning of December.