Founder of ISIS media outlet killed by US-led coalition strike

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Founder of the ISIS' Amaq News Agency, Rayan Meshaal (R), was killed in an air strike by the US-led coalition in Syria's Deir ez-Zor province. File photo

An air strike by the US-led coalition has killed the founder of the Islamic State’s (ISIS) propaganda media outlet Amaq in the eastern Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor, his brother said in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

The post said the strike killed Rayan Meshaal and his daughter in their home in the city of al-Mayadin.

Syrian activists had been sharing news of Meshaal’s death on social media.

“I’m pleased to announce the martyrdom of my older brother Baraa Kadek, known as Rayan Meshaal…in an air strike by the coalition,” the Facebook post reportedly by his brother said.

ISIS often claims responsibility for attacks worldwide through Amaq channels on social media.

Rita Katz, director of the US-based SITE monitoring service, said on Twitter that a coalition strike allegedly killed Meshaal in Deir ez-Zor.

Katz added Amaq had “shown itself as ISIS’ state media agency” since its founding in 2014 and had issued claims for at least two dozen attacks around the world.

Islamic State militants control swathes of Syria’s vast eastern deserts and most of Deir ez-Zor province bordering Iraq, but they have been on the back foot over the past year.

With air strikes and special forces on the ground, the US-led coalition is supporting an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters in a campaign to capture Raqqa city.

The Syrian Democratic Forces are advancing on Raqqa, Islamic State’s urban base of operations in Syria, and have seized tracts of territory in northern Syria from the jihadist group.

The SDF, led by the powerful Kurdish YPG force, is expected to storm Raqqa in early summer with the help of new weapons from the coalition.

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