The chief of ISIS oil smuggling operations has been reportedly killed in a Russian airstrike that hit his hideout in Syria’s central region.
Iraqi sources affiliated with the group mourned the terrorist leader who is commonly known as “Sami al-Ajouz” on July 1. It remains unclear if al-Ajouz was killed on the very same day or in an earlier date.
Al-Ajouz was reportedly responsible for ISIS oil smuggling operations in both Iraq and Syria. The terrorists leader is originally from the town of Sdirah in the district of al-Shirqat in the northern Iraqi province of Nineveh. The terrorist, also known as “al-Haj Hamid,” is reportedly a member of the Jubur Tribe.
ISIS captured most oil fields in Iraq and Syria after declaring its “Caliphate” in 2014. The terrorist group smuggled loads stolen oil to Turkey as well as to small dealers in Syria and Iraq before collapsing. The Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) played a key role in disturbing the group’s oil smuggling operations.
If confirmed, the death of al-Ajouz will be a major blow to ISIS. The VKS has been very active against the group’s cells in central Syria. More than 50 terrorists were killed or wounded as a result of Russian airstrikes last June.
Hundreds of ISIS fighters and leaders have been reportedly taking shelter in central Syria, mainly in the Homs desert. In 2018, Huthaifah al-Badri, the son of ISIS founder and former leader Abu Baker al-Baghdadi, was killed by the Syrian military while he was participating in an “Inghimasi” attack in the vicinity of the Homs desert.
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