Ministry: foreign IS experts killed in Mosul blitz, including former Mercedes executive

Dead bodies of Islamic State militants (representational photo)

Baghdad ( Some of Islamic State’s senior foreign experts were killed in an airstrike in western Mosul last Thursday, according to a statement released by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense on Saturday.

The airstrikes, which targeted the 17th of July district in western Mosul, were carried out upon receiving intelligence tips, destroyed an IS headquarter and killed several outstanding foreign experts operating within the extremist group, the ministry said in its statement which did only referred to the killed militants by their nicknames.

Those, according to the ministry’s statement, included “Abu Omar al-Faransi”, a Tunisian-French who the ministry said was a former executive at automaker giant Mercedes. Al-Faransi (understandably his nom de guerre) was an automation specialist.

Another one was “Abu Aesha”, also a nickname, who was a booby-trapping specialist who, according to the ministry, innovated the weaponisation of the group’s drones.

A third expert killed in the strike was “Abu Mohamed al-Rusi”, a Russian, who worked as an aircraft engineer.

Islamic State has attracted thousands of foreign nationals since it took over large parts of Iraq and Syria to establish a so-called “Islamic Caliphate”.

Iraqi government forces, backed by a U.S.-led international coalition and allied militias, are currently struggling to drive the group out of Mosul, IS’s largest stronghold in Iraq.

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