The US-led coalition carried out the first air strikes on Islamic State (ISIS) chemical weapons sites, the Pentagon said Thursday, acting on crucial information from a captured senior insurgent.
The successful multiple bombings came as a result of intelligence from Sulayman Dawud al-Bakkar, also known as Abu Dawud, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said, confirming the name of the ISIS group operative said to be a chemical weapons expert for the terrorists.
His capture by US special forces in February – Dawud was transferred Thursday into Iraqi custody after interrogation – appears to be a major boon in the fight against the ISIS group in Iraq and Syria, and Cook said it had yielded almost immediate results.
Cook described Dawud as "ISIL's emir of chemical and traditional weapons manufacturing," using an alternate acronym for the jihadist group.
"His capture removed a key ISIL leader from the battlefield, and provided the coalition with important information about ISIL's chemical weapons capabilities," Cook said.
"Through Dawud, the coalition learned details about ISIL's chemical weapon facilities and production, as well as the people involved."
"The information has resulted in multiple coalition airstrikes that have disrupted and degraded ISIL's ability to produce chemical weapons and will continue to inform our operations in the future."
On Wednesday, Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis declined to confirm that US forces had captured an ISIS chemical weapons expert.
AFP contributed to this report.