A US-led coalition air strike killed a chemical weapons specialist with the Takfiri group ISIL in Iraq who once worked for Saddam Hussein, US military officers said Friday.
The air raid carried out last Saturday near Mosul took out Abu Malik, whose training “provided the terrorist group with expertise to pursue a chemical weapons capability,” the military said in a statement.
Abu Malik had worked at a chemical weapons production plant under Saddam’s regime and later forged an affiliation with Al-Qaeda in Iraq in 2005, before joining the ISISL, according to Central Command.
“His death is expected to temporarily degrade and disrupt the terrorist network and diminish ISIL’s ability to potentially produce and use chemical weapons against innocent people,” it said.
US officials had not publicly referred to Abu Malik previously as a key figure.
Abu Malik, also known as Salih Jasim Mohammed Falah al-Sabawi, had been “involved in operations to produce chemical weapons in 2005, and planned attacks in Mosul with AQI (Al-Qaeda in Iraq),” said a defense official.
“Based on his training and experience, he was judged to be capable of creating harmful and deadly chemical agents,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“We know ISIL is attempting to pursue a chemical weapons capability, but we have no definitive confirmation that ISIL currently possess chemical weapons,” the official said.
The ISIL terrorists are engaged in crimes against humanity in the areas under their control.
They have been carrying out horrific acts of violence such as public decapitations and crucifixions against all communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, and Christians.