Pentagon Confirms Death of Chief ISIS Spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani

PHOTO: A grab taken on Oct. 2, 2013 from a video uploaded on YouTube on July 8, 2012, shows the spokesman for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), Abu Mohammad al-Adnani al-Shami, speaking next to an Islamist flag at an undisclosed location. PlayAFP/Getty Images
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The Pentagon has confirmed the death of top ISIS spokesman and overseas plotter Abu Muhammad al-Adnani in an airstrike in Syria nearly two weeks ago. U.S. officials announced the airstrike targeting al-Adnani on Aug. 30, but said they were awaiting a final assessment to see if he had been killed.

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"The Department of Defense has confirmed that the U.S. precision airstrike on Aug. 30 targeting senior ISIL leader Abu Muhammad Al-Adnani was successful," said Peter Cook, the Pentagon press secretary, in a statement.

"The strike near al-Bab, Syria, removes from the battlefield ISIL's chief propagandist, recruiter and architect of external terrorist operations," said Cook.

"It is one in a series of successful strikes against ISIL leaders, including those responsible for finances and military planning, that make it harder for the group to operate," he added. Cook said the targeting of ISIS leaders and the plotters of overseas attacks would continue.

In the days after the strike on Aug. 30, Pentagon officials had cautioned that they awaited a final assessment that would confirm if he had actually been killed in the airstrike. Those assessments are made by the intelligence community using a combination of intercepted communications and other intelligence to make a final determination on the success of a strike.

Russia later claimed credit for the airstrike leading to an unusually blunt response from a U.S. official calling the Russian claim "a joke".

Al-Adnani was known primarily as the chief spokesman for ISIS, but he was also the driving force behind high-profile ISIS terror attacks like last November's deadly attack in Paris and the bombing at the airport in Brussels.