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Obama approves operation to kill IS leader for first time

Obama approves operation to kill IS leader for first time

Posted September. 13, 2014 03:17,   


U.S. President Barack Obama approved for the first time an order to kill a leader of Islamic State as individual, the Washington Post reported on Thursday by quoting a military source. The first target will likely be Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, 43, who claimed himself to be IS’ first Caliph (supreme leader).

John Kirby, the U.S. Defense Department spokesman, told a media briefing on the day that ‘methods to destroy an enemy like IS should be very aggressive, and they include demolishing the capabilities to command and control the military.’ President Obama has been limiting the U.S. military’s attack on IS leaders. U.S. airstrikes have been limited to only operations aimed at defending Americans and facilities, protecting refugees, and dams IS sought to occupy.

The U.S. military already conducted reconnaissance activities over the skies in Syria and gathered intelligence, and based on such intelligence, has reportedly created a list of targets, including IS leaders and combat troops. CNN reported that “According to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, the number of IS’ combat troops amount to 20,000 to 31,500, and this represent a significant increase from the previous estimate of 10,000.” A military source who wished to remain anonymous said, “When there is a chance to strike targets, the U.S. military are ready to launch attacks anytime, anywhere,” in expressing confidence.

In an interview with CNN in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said, “The U.S. is not engaging in war with IS, but is staging a very important anti-terror operation,” adding, “The operation to eradicate them will take a considerable time, because IS are animals and are different from ordinary terrorist organizations.”