ISIL spokesman Adnani 'killed in Syria's Aleppo'

The chief spokesman for so-called Islamic State (IS) has been killed in Syria, IS-affiliated media say.

"Shaykh Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, the spokesman of the Islamic State, was martyred while surveying the operations to repel the military campaigns in Aleppo", the Amaq News Agency, the Islamic State's official news outlet, said.

Adnani was originally from the western Syrian province of Idlib and joined the jihadist movement in Iraq where he served now slain Al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and held several positions.

The Amaq statement Tuesday said al-Adnani died while inspecting military operations in the area of Aleppo, Syria.

Hisham al-Hashimi, a security analyst who advises the Iraqi government on Islamic State, said Adnani was injured in a coalition strike on August 17 near al-Rai, north of Aleppo, where Islamic State is fighting Turkish and US-backed Syrian rebels.

Responding to questions about al-Adnani, a senior defense official told NPR's Tom Bowman that the US targeted a senior ISIS leader with an airstrike today in al Bab, Syria, which is about 27 miles outside of Aleppo.

"If a coalition air strike hit him, it shows intelligence penetration by the coalition is very high".

In other speeches he referred to US President Barack Obama as "an idiot" and Secretary of State John Kerry as an "uncircumcised old geezer".

The details of Adnani's death remain unclear.

There is a $5 million reward on his head under the US "Rewards for Justice" programme.

Earlier this year, he called for massive attacks during Ramadan - a call that translated into the bloodiest Muslim holy month in recent memory.

Al-Adnani also disparaged Saudi Arabia and its influential clerics for failing to rally behind the rebels that the monarchy supports in Syria like they did decades ago in Afghanistan. It still controls Mosul, but Iraqi forces are gearing up for a long-awaited operation to retake the country's second largest city.

Aleppo, now in the grip of battles between government forces, anti-government rebels and Islamic State, has been subject to intense bombing and a siege in recent weeks.

  • Joey Payne