‘It’s dangerous being a ISIS leader nowadays’: airstrike takes out key figure in Iraq

A senior Islamic State leader in Iraq’s Anbar province has been killed by a US airstrike, the Pentagon says. The attack on 6 May “targeted Abu Wahib, ISIL’s military emir for Anbar province and a former member of al Qaeda in Iraq who has appeared in ISIL execution videos”, the Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said. The strike was on a vehicle carrying Abu Wahib and three other Islamic State members near the town of Rutba, he said.

We view him as a significant leader in ISIL leadership overall, not just in Anbar Province.

Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook

Abu Wahib, also known as Shaqir Wahib al Fadhawi, is understood to have been the man in a 2013 video who quizzed truck drivers and executed three who failed to prove they were Sunni Muslims. In May 2013, he was blamed for leading militants in kidnapping 16 policemen along the Iraq-Jordan highway in Anbar, leaving 12 of them dead and four injured. The 30-year-old became a well-known figure with his thin black beard and monobrow and last year was ridiculed by members of Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently, who said he looked like a doner kebab when wearing camouflage. Wahib, or Waheeb, was among more than 100 inmates to escape a prison in Tikrit in 2009 during a riot.

It is dangerous to be an Isil leader in Iraq and Syria nowadays.

Peter Cook