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U.S. Says Two Senior IS Military Leaders Killed In Mosul

A U.S.-led coalition air strike has killed Islamic State's deputy minister of war and a military commander in Mosul, the Pentagon said on July 1.

"Their deaths, along with strikes against other ISIL leaders in the past month, have critically degraded ISIL's leadership experience in Mosul and removed two of their most senior military members in northern Iraq," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said, using another acronym for the so-called Islamic State.

The strike near Mosul on June 25 killed Basim Muhammad Ahmad Sultan al-Bajari, the deputy minister of war, who oversaw the militant group's capture of Mosul in 2014, Cook said. Bajari was a former Al-Qaeda member.

Cook said the other IS leader killed in the strike was Hatim Talib al-Hamduni, a military commander in Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city.

Iraq's military last month claimed victory in a U.S.-backed offensive against IS forces in Fallujah. It is now setting its sights on an offensive to regain control of Mosul.

Cook said that removing the two senior leaders will help Iraqi forces in their fight to retake Mosul.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters

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