U.S. airstrike is believed to have killed one of ISIS’s top commanders in Libya while the terror attacks in Paris were underway, a U.S. military spokesman said.
The operation to kill Iraqi national Abu Nabil in the eastern port city of Darnah was conceived before terrorists went on a rampage in the French capital, Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said.
Nabil was a long term al-Qaeda fighter and could have been the man who threatened the West in the ISIS propaganda video in which 21 Coptic Christians were executed on a Libyan beach, Mr Cook added.
He said: ‘Nabil’s death will degrade ISIS’ ability to meet the group’s objectives in Libya, including recruiting new ISIS members, establishing bases in Libya and planning external attacks on the United States.
Another U.S. official said the strike by an F-15 fighter jet took place shortly after the Paris terrorist attacks began, but had been planned for some time.
Today’s report of Nabil’s death is the second in several months. In July it was reported that Nabil had been captured by a rival Islamist group, who hanged him.
Reports emerged of him being walked through the streets of Darnah then hanged publicly to deter locals from abandoning local militant groups and pledging allegiance to ISIS.
Nabil is thought to have been sent to Libya by ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi earlier in the summer to try to negotiate an alliance with local terror cells.
Those reports of his death conflict with those of today’s bombing raid, but information from Islamist-controlled areas often prove unreliable.
It came as Turkish military said they killed four suspected ISIS militants on the border with Syria.
State media said two cars containing ISIS soldiers drove towards an armoured military vehicle and opened fire.
The soldiers returned fire, killing four men inside one car. The other escaped.
The attack happened at an output near the border town of Oguzeli in Gaziantep province.
Turkey has stepped up its action against Syrian militants in recent days, partly because world leaders from the G20 countries are due in Antalya for an economic summit in the coming days.
David Cameron, Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping are all due at the summit, which starts Sunday.
French president Francois Hollande was due to attend, but pulled out after the terror attacks. He is sending his foreign and finance ministers instead.
Credit: Daily Mail