Pentagon: 3 ISIS leaders killed in airstrike

Smoke rises from behind a Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation) paramilitary unit vehicle as they advance towards the village of Shwah, south of the city of Tal Afar on the western outskirts of Mosul, on December 13, 2016, during an ongoing operation against Islamic State (IS) group jihadists.
Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary forces said they retook three more villages southwest of Mosul, completing another phase in operations aimed at cutting the jihadists' link to Syria.

Photo credit: AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images

Smoke rises from behind a Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation) paramilitary unit vehicle as they advance towards the village of Shwah, south of the city of Tal Afar on the western outskirts of Mosul, on December 13, 2016, during an ongoing operation against Islamic State (IS) group jihadists. Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary forces said they retook three more villages southwest of Mosul, completing another phase in operations aimed at cutting the jihadists' link to Syria. Photo credit: AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images

Three ISIS leaders were killed last week by a coalition airstrike in ISIS’ self-declared capital, Raqqa, Syria, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

Two of the targets, Salah Gourmat and Sammy Djedou, were directly involved in plotting the November 13, 2015 Paris attacks, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a statement. The third, Walid Hamman, was a suicide attack planner who was convicted in absentia in Belgium for a terror plot disrupted in 2015.

The leaders were working to plot and carryout attacks on on the West, the Pentagon said, and were apart of a terror network run by Boubaker Al-Hakim, who was killed in an earlier coalition airstrike on November 16.

Coalition airstrikes have successfully targeted five top ISIL external plotters within the last month. The Pentagon attributes this success to intelligence material and coordination with local partners.

The news comes after the US announced it would send up to 200 additional troops to Syria to help train and assist US-backed local forces that are driving towards Raqqa. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said he expects the fight against ISIS to continue “for some time” even after Raqqa and Mosul are captured.