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A high-ranking terrorist with the Islamic State, the so-called ISIS ‘oil minister’ Abu Izzam, was killed by Iraqi counter-terrorism forces east of Mosul on Monday, Fars news agency reports, quoting the anti-terrorism forces commander Wahab al-Saedi.
“Abu Izzam, ISIL’s oil minister, was killed by Iraqi security forces during the operations in areas and villages East of the city of Mosul,” al-Saedi said, as quoted by FNA.
Oil is a major source of income for the Islamic State terrorists, but their revenues have been dwindling with the advance of the Iraqi forces. In the summer, Iraqi media reported that the terrorists’ oil revenues had shrunk by up to 90 percent.
In June of this year, the ISIS ‘oil ministry’ headquarters near Mosul was destroyed in ground and air strikes.
Then, in the middle of October, a massive offensive to free Mosul from Islamic State began, involving the Iraqi army, its U.S.-led coalition allies and the Peshmerga, the armed forces of the Kurdistan autonomous region.
Mosul has been under the terrorist group’s control since 2014 and is the largest stronghold of Islamic State in Iraq. Restoring government control over it is seen as a turning point in the fight against the terrorists.
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In the ongoing battle, Iraqi forces regained control over four villages north of Mosul on Sunday, according to Fars news agency.
Again yesterday, U.S. and coalition military forces destroyed near Mosul mortar systems, four ISIS-held buildings, vehicles, a vehicle bomb factory, and a front-end loader, the U.S. Department of Defense said today.
Peter Cook, spokesman for the Pentagon, tweeted on Saturday an update from the Secretary of Defense Ash Carter:
“This is a complex mission that will take time to accomplish, but I am confident ISIL's days in Mosul are numbered.”
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.