‘Russia killing top ISIS leader should compel US to seek bilateral cooperation’
Russia's military has confirmed one of ITS air strikes was responsible for killing key ISIS leader Abu Muhammad al-Adnani.
RT: How important was Al-Adnani. We hear he was a head of communications, the media representative so to speak. How instrumental was he in spreading the group's propaganda which has become such an important tool for them?
Ali Rizk: Yes, indeed, when it comes to propaganda or distributing videos, yes, he was the main man, we can say. It is very important to know that Al-Adnani was very close personally to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. If you recall al-Zarqawi, who was killed in the US airstrike in Iraq in 2006, it was al-Zarqawi who began with the practice of beheadings on video – filming beheadings and then distributing them throughout world. This practice goes back to Al-Adnani, who was a founder of al-Qaeda in Iraq. Al-Adnani used the same procedures, or the same practices, which he got from his teacher…
That is very much agreed upon – he is the second most important figure in ISIS after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. This indeed is a big setback, and I think that with the killing or assassination of Al-Adnani more and more we’re seeing the top rank leaders, the older generation, of ISIS being killed and that in itself is very important. It takes away those high-ranking figures, of which not many are left.
RT: On top of the logistical losses that ISIS has suffered lately in Iraq and Syria is it going to fight back aggressively or not? What do you think is going to be the next step in response to this?
AR: Yes, I am sure that ISIS will fight back in response to this. Al-Adnani also succeeded in attracting many of those individuals who were inspired by ISIS. Unfortunately, many of those people are found appeal in Al-Adnani, for example, when he called for attacks in the West, for attacks in France, etc… So I think there are a lot of ISIS members who will be mourning his death and will be very determined to extract some kind of revenge. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some plots in Western capitals, even in Moscow, as well, because Russia carried out this attack.
This should show the Americans that there is a lot to gain from cooperating with Russia, since Russia has succeeded in killing a very dangerous individual…