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IS group rocket expert killed in Iraq strike: Spokesman

AFP , Sunday 3 Apr 2016

An Islamic State group rocket expert believed to have been involved in an attack that killed a US Marine has died in a drone strike in Iraq, a spokesman said Sunday.

Staff Sergeant Louis Cardin was killed last month by an IS group rocket attack that also wounded eight Marines at an artillery position in the Makhmur area of northern Iraq.

"Several hours ago, we killed an IS group member believed responsible for the rocket attack that resulted in the death of Sergeant Cardin," Colonel Steve Warren, the spokesman for the US-led operation against the jihadists, told journalists in Baghdad.

Jasim Khadijah "was an IS group member and former Iraqi officer," he said.

He was "a rocket expert, apparently... he controlled those attacks," Warren said, adding that the strike also killed five other IS group fighters and destroyed a drone and two vehicles.

IS group overran large parts of Iraq in 2014, but the country's forces have since regained significant ground with the backing of US-led air strikes and training.

US President Barack Obama repeatedly pledged that there would be no "boots on the ground" to fight IS group, but has deployed special forces to Iraq who are carrying out raids targeting the militants.

An American special operations soldier was killed last October during a joint raid with Kurdish forces against IS group in Hawijah, a northern Iraqi town.

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