Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi announced on Feb. 2 that security forces killed two ISIS-linked terrorists—the group’s commander in southern Iraq and an individual who facilitated suicide bomb attacks.
“The terrorist Abu Hassan al-Gharibawi, the so-called leader of southern Iraq in Daesh, and the terrorist Ghanem Sabah Jawad, who is responsible for transporting suicide bombers, were both eliminated today, in addition to other terrorist elements,” Kadhimi wrote in a tweet, referring to ISIS by an Arabic acronym—Daesh.
“These victories are part of our heroes’ pledge to eliminate the leaders of Daesh gangs & in loyalty to the Iraqi martyrs’ blood,” Kadhimi wrote. “Our security forces have made us proud. Long live Iraq.”
The two were killed in an ongoing security operation to hunt down remaining ISIS terror cells after dozens of civilians were murdered in a double suicide attack in Baghdad.
The strike marks the second high-profile elimination of ISIS terrorists, with Kadhimi announcing last week that security forces had killed Abu Yaser al-Issawi, an ISIS commander who had claimed to be the leader of the terror group in Iraq and its “deputy caliph.”
“I gave my word to pursue the Daesh terrorists, we gave them a thundering response,” Kadhimi wrote in a tweet on Jan. 28.
Two weeks ago, ISIS claimed responsibility for a twin suicide bombing that killed at least 32 people in a crowded Baghdad market. It was the first big suicide bombing in Iraq in three years.
Iraqi authorities said the attack was a possible sign of revival by the terror group after its military defeat three years ago. At the height of its power, ISIS controlled around a third of Iraq, but by 2017, it had been driven from all territory it held in the country.
The terror group’s paramount leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, died in 2019 during a U.S. raid in neighboring Syria.
President Donald Trump at the time said that a nighttime raid carried out by Special Operations forces in northwestern Syria over the night of Oct. 26 led to al-Baghdadi’s death.
“Last night, the United States brought the world’s No. 1 terrorist leader to justice,” Trump said. “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead. He was the founder and leader of ISIS, the most ruthless and violent terror organization in the world.”
Al-Baghdadi died after fleeing into a dead-end tunnel, Trump said.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned in June 2020 that ISIS terrorists continue to pose a threat in some parts of the world, and urged allies to step up funding efforts to defeat them despite a pandemic-driven budget crunch.
“Our fight against ISIS continues, and will for the foreseeable future. We cannot rest,” Pompeo told a virtual meeting of representatives of 31 countries and partners in the fight against international terrorism.
“We must continue to root out ISIS cells and networks and provide stabilization assistance to liberated areas in Iraq and Syria,” he said.