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Islamic State leaders linked to Paris attacks killed in air strikes

Washington: A US-led coalition has killed 10 Islamic State leaders in the past month with targeted air strikes, including individuals linked to November's attacks in Paris, a spokesman for the coalition said on Tuesday.

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Coalition forces kill IS leaders

US-led coalition air strikes kill 10 Islamic State leaders over the past month, including individuals linked to the deadly Paris attacks, says a spokesman for the coalition.

"Over the past month, we've killed 10 ISIL leadership figures with targeted air strikes, including several external attack planners, some of whom are linked to the Paris attacks," said US Army Colonel Steve Warren, a spokesman for the US-led military campaign against Islamic State, also known by the acronym ISIL. "Others had designs on further attacking the West."

One of those killed was Abdul Qader Hakim, who facilitated the militants' external operations and had links to the Paris attack network, Warren said. He was killed in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on December 26.

A coalition air strike on December 24 in Syria killed Charaffe al Mouadan, a Syria-based Islamic State member with a direct link to Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspected ringleader of the co-ordinated bombings and shootings in Paris on November 13 which killed 130 people, Colonel Warren said. Mouadan was actively planning further attacks against the West, he said.

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The effect of the air strikes on Islamic State leadership can be seen in recent battlefield successes against the group, Warren said. The Iraqi army recently saw its first major victory against the ultra-hardline Sunni militants, declaring the capture this week of Ramadi, a provincial capital west of Baghdad which fell to Islamic State in May.

"Part of those successes is attributable to the fact that the organisation is losing its leadership," Colonel Warren said.

Smoke rises from Islamic State positions following a US-led coalition airstrike in Ramadi.
Smoke rises from Islamic State positions following a US-led coalition airstrike in Ramadi. Photo: AP

He warned, however: "It's still got fangs."

Reuters

Killed in the Saint-Denis siege ... the suspected architect of the Paris attacks Abdelhamid Abaaoud.
Killed in the Saint-Denis siege ... the suspected architect of the Paris attacks Abdelhamid Abaaoud. Photo: AP

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