Air strike kills two Islamic State military commanders -Pentagon

U.S.-led strikes pound Islamic State in Iraq
U.S.-led strikes pound Islamic State in Iraq

WASHINGTON, July 1 (Reuters) - A U.S.-led coalition air strike killed Islamic State's deputy minister of war and a military commander in Mosul on June 25, a Pentagon official said on Friday.

"Their deaths, along with strikes against other ISIL leaders in the past month, have critically degraded ISIL's leadership experience in Mosul and removed two of their most senior military members in Northern Iraq," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a statement, using an acronym for the militant group that is also known as ISIS and Daesh.

The strike near Mosul killed Basim Muhammad Ahmad Sultan al-Bajari, the deputy minister of war, who oversaw the militant group's capture of Mosul in 2014, Cook said.

The other Islamic State member killed in the strike was Hatim Talib al-Hamduni, a military commander in Mosul, Cook added.

In June, Iraq's military claimed victory in a U.S.-backed offensive against Islamic State forces in Falluja and set its sights on an offensive against the jihadists who hold Mosul, Iraq's second largest city.

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