Mosul: 16 civilians killed amid Daesh offensive

A spokesman for the US-led anti-Islamic state coalition said he was unable to confirm the report.

Ayad al-Jumaili was killed alongside other Islamic State commanders, Iraq military intelligence sources are reported to have said, although it is not clear what date the air strikes took place.

Jumaili, who had been an intelligence officer under Saddam Hussein, was described in the TV report as Islamic State's "second-in-command" and "war minister".

Iraqi forces, backed by a US-led coalition, have been battling to retake the city of Mosul, Islamic State's stronghold in Iraq and the city where Baghdadi declared a caliphate almost three years ago.

He said the civilians were likely killed after attempting to flee Daesh-held areas in western Mosul.

Almost 290,000 people have fled the city to escape the fighting, according to the United Nations.

Iraqi State TV broke the news on Saturday, citing Iraq's military intelligence. He led Isis's top security agency in Iraq and Syria, known as Amniya, answering directly to Baghdadi, according to experts.

In recent months, the extremist group has suffered military setbacks and lost ground in Iraq, including its key stronghold of Mosul, where Baghdad has been reporting advances against the militants.

The UNAMI statement came as the Iraqi security forces backed by anti-IS worldwide coalition are carrying out a major offensive to drive out the IS militants from its last major stronghold in the city of Mosul in northern Iraq.

"We regret the unintentional loss of civilian lives ... and express our deepest sympathies to the families and others affected by these strikes", the Pentagon statement said.

The propaganda official was a leader in propoganda efforts to recruit foreign fighters and encourage "terror attacks" in western countries, Scrocca told reporters.

  • Leroy Wright