Reports out of Syria indicate that the Islamic State’s Media Amir, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, may have been killed in a Coalition airstrike. While U.S. officials did not immediately confirm al-Adnani’s death, it was stated that a senior ISIS official was targeted within Syria. Meanwhile, Russian officials have declared via social media that they killed al-Adnani.
Al-Adnani was considered to be among the highest priority targets for the United States and the Coalition due to his involvement in ISIS’ highly successful media platform, which frequently parades extremely violent executions on to the internet. He was also thought to be involved in unspecified external operations for the group, which continue to increase at a staggering rate.
Had more aggressive tactics been utilized, ISIS would likely be on the run and subsequently less organized.
While his death, if confirmed, is a win for the Coalition and will no doubt strike a blow to the morale within ISIS’ ranks, it certainly will not slow down their efforts. The vast amount of prior al-Qai’da in Iraq (AQI) members who remain in the senior ranks of ISIS, as well as their younger generation of recruits, continue to develop their skills and ability to adapt to the loss of senior figures. While airstrikes have been effective to a certain extent, the limited approach taken by the United States, and its partners, in the fight against ISIS has allowed the group to plan and create contingencies for such events and build a stable of leadership that the group can rely upon moving forward. Had more aggressive tactics been utilized, ISIS would likely be on the run and subsequently less organized. Unfortunately, as it stands, they have been able to freely plan operations, train new recruits, develop a farm system for new leadership and systematically radicalize susceptible individuals around the globe in order to accomplish their mission. While al-Adnani’s death is a victory, and must be celebrated as such, a more comprehensive and sustained approach must be taken.
By OpsLens Staff