WASHINGTON — U.S. forces killed a senior Islamic State leader, among several key members of the militant group eliminated this week, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Friday.
Carter identified the senior IS leader as Haji Imam and described him as the group’s finance minister. He said he was a “well-known terrorist” who had a hand in terrorist plots outside of Iraq and Syria.
“Leaders can be replaced. However, these leaders have been around for a long time. They are senior, they are experienced,” Carter told a Pentagon news conference.
Carter did not say whether the IS finance leader was killed in Syria or Iraq.
Appearing at the news conference with Carter, Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said there has been no fundamental shift in the U.S. approach in Iraq, and he said efforts are under way to accelerate the campaign.
The U.S. military has killed numerous Islamic State leaders in recent months. Earlier this month the Pentagon said it killed Omar al-Shishani, described as the Islamic State’s “minister of war,” in an airstrike in Syria. In November, the Pentagon said an airstrike in Libya killed Abu Nabil, another top IS leader.