The Pentagon says air strikes by a U.S.-led coalition have killed 10 Islamic State (IS) leaders over the past month, including several linked to the Paris attacks or other plots against the West.
Pentagon spokesman Steve Warren told reporters on December 29 that the militants were killed mainly by drone strikes in Iraq and Syria.
He said at least two of those killed were linked to the November terrorist attacks in Paris.
According to Warren, one of the insurgents killed was Charaffe al Mouadan, a Syrian-based IS member who was directly linked to Abdel Hamid Abaaoud, the Paris attack cell leader.
Mouadan was actively planning additional attacks against the West, Warren said.
Also killed was Abdel Kader Hakim, who was part of the IS group's effort to plan attacks against Western targets and "had links" to the Paris attack network, Warren added.
Others include the leader of a unit that planted improvised explosive devices, a top finance official in Mosul, and an expert that worked as a computer hacker for the extremist group.
Warren said the air strikes are "striking at the head of this snake."
"We haven't severed the head of the snake yet, and it's still got fangs... There's much more fighting to do," Warren said.
Based on reporting by AP and dpa