US forces kill Islamic State militant linked to Turkey nightclub attack


US forces kill Islamic State militant linked to Turkey nightclub attack

Uzbeki was a close associate of Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Central Command spokesman Col. John Thomas told reporters.

The U.S.'s Middle East command confirmed the death of Abdurakhmon Uzbeki, saying he was killed by American forces near the eastern Syrian city of Mayadin.

"Uzbeki facilitated the movement of ISIS foreign terror fighters and funds, and he also played a key role in ISIS's external terror-attack plotting", Thomas said.

That deadly attack was carried out by Abdulkadir Masharipov, an Uzbeki national, on behalf of ISIS. Dozens of people were wounded.

A man places flowers at the entrance of Reina nightclub, which was attacked by a gunman, in Istanbul, Turkey January 3, 2017.

The ground operation was conducted by US Special Operations forces near Mayadin, Syria, according to a defense official who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the operation, the network reported. Typically their ground operations are not disclosed. "I think that's all we're willing to say about that", Thomas said, declining further comment.

Senior ISIS leaders have also departed Mosul into the same valley region, which straddles both sides of the border, according to USA officials.