US Army 82nd Airborne Div, 325th Airborn Inf Reg, burned out car in Tal Afar, Iraq, 6 October 2005, by Staff Sgt James Wilt (DVIDS, 2005)

‘Sniper of the Caliphate’ Killed in Iraq

Abu Moussa al-Muhajer Shot In Tal Afar

A British-born sniper fighting for the Islamic State has been shot and killed by unidentified attackers 50 miles west of Mosul, according to a local source quoted by Iraqi News.

The sniper Abu Moussa al-Muhajer was killed and an Australian companion wounded when unknown gunmen opened fire on them in the outskirts of Tal Afar, one of Islamic State’s largest remaining safe havens in Iraq.

Sniper of the Caliphate

The two IS militants were believed to be on patrol in the area when the attack ocurred. According to the source:

Abu Moussa al-Muhajer gained his fame from his sharp remote sniping skills, which earned him the ‘sniper of the caliphate’ title.

He added that there were between 20 and 30 British nationals fighting for the Islamic State in Tal Afar, some of whom hold senior position in the group.

Islamic State has held Tal Afar since 2014, when it took over Mosul and declared it the capital of its self-styled ‘Caliphate.’ Operations by pro-government paramilitary forces have so far isolated the enclave from the Syrian border and from Mosul. US Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend said Tuesday, that after securing Mosul, Tal Afar would be the next on the list for coalition forces.

Tal Afar has been no stranger to the occasional and mysterious killings of IS militants in the past, with reports telling of serious divisions among the fighters based there.

On Wednesday, Hakem al-Zamili, chairman of the Iraqi parliament’s Security and Defense Committee, said Iraqi forces killed 28,000 out of 30,000 foreign Islamic State fighters since mid 2013. His comments came two days after Iraq’s political and military leadership announced victory over IS in Mosul.

Image: Burned-out car in Tal Afar (DVIDS, 2005).

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