Kurdish Forces Kill Senior Islamic State Commander in Iraq

September 17, 2014  

Kurdish Peshmerga forces claim to have killed a senior Islamic State (IS) military commander Tuesday.

According to Kurdish news outlet Rudaw, 39-year-old Yasin Ali Suleiman Shlash, also known as Abu Abdullah, was IS’s top military commander in the Mosul region. 

“He was killed with a number of other terrorists during a military operation by Peshmerga forces in coordination with the US air force to liberate Hassan Sham and its vicinities,” the Kurdistan Region’s Security Council said in statement.

The city of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest, was captured at the start of a stunning advance by IS and allied Sunni militias earlier this year. 

The Iraqi army was accused of ineptness after it melted away in the face of a much smaller IS force, and even Peshmerga forces – highly regarded for their own bravery in combat – performed disappointingly in the initial stages of the jihadist onslaught, which took place outside of the mountainous Kurdish region the Peshmerga were used to fighting in.

Since then, however, with the help of US airstrikes and western military aid Kurdish forces have pushed back and made some significant gains – most notably the retaking of Mosul dam last month.

The Kurdish Security Council said Shlash, a former Arabic teacher, was behind a 2007 terrorist bombing the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) capital of Erbil.

It also said he had coordinated the recent mass-kidnappings of Yezidi women – many of whom were raped or sold into slavery – when IS captured the Shingar mountain region last month.

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