An Islamic State (ISIS) group rocket expert believed to have been involved in an attack that killed an American Marine has died in a drone strike in Iraq, a spokesperson said on Sunday, according to AFP.
Staff Sergeant Louis Cardin was killed last month by an ISIS rocket attack that also wounded eight Marines at an artillery position in the Makhmur area of northern Iraq.
“Several hours ago, we killed an ISIL member believed responsible for the rocket attack that resulted in the death of Sergeant Cardin,” Colonel Steve Warren, the spokesperson for the U.S.-led operation against the militants, told journalists in Baghdad, using an alternative acronym for ISIS.
Jasim Khadijah “was an ISIL member and former Iraqi officer,” he added.
He was “a rocket expert, apparently… he controlled those attacks,” Warren said, adding that the strike also killed five other ISIS fighters and destroyed a drone and two vehicles.
ISIS overran large parts of Iraq in 2014, but the country’s forces have since regained significant ground with the backing of American-led air strikes and training.
Khadijah’s death came several days after a drone strike near ISIS’s de facto capital in Syria, Raqa, killed Abu al-Hija, a jihadist commander heading to Aleppo province on orders from the organization’s chief.
A week earlier, American forces killed ISIS deputy leader Abd ar-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli. Another recent killing was that of the group's most notorious commanders, Omar al-Shishani, known as ISIS’s “defense minister”.