Kirkuk (Iraqinews.com) – Iraqi security forces killed on Monday the right-hand man of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on the outskirts of Kirkuk, intelligence sources were quoted as saying.
“Abu Walid al-Shishany, one of Baghdadi’s closest aides, was in a desert area on the outskirts of Kirkuk when Iraqi forces shot him dead,” the sources told Sky Press.
“The death of Shishany deals a big blow to the IS group as he was mainly tasked with plotting terrorist attacks against civilians in Kirkuk,” the sources added.
Earlier in the day, paramilitary troops killed five foreign militants of the Islamic State group in al-Humayra village in Hawija, southwest of Kirkuk.
Kirkuk officials previously urged reinforcing military troops in the south and west of the province, as the region still has Islamic State members who escaped during liberation of the province to remote areas.
Iraq declared the collapse of Islamic State’s territorial influence earlier in November with the recapture of Rawa, a city on Anbar’s western borders with Syria, which was the group’s last bastion in Iraq.
IS declared a self-styled “caliphate” in a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria in 2014. A government campaign, backed by the US-led international coalition, was launched in 2016 to retake IS-held regions, managing to retake all havens, most notably the city of Mosul, the group’s previously proclaimed capital.