The US-led coalition group fighting the Isis in the Middle East announced on Thursday (7 September) that their recent airstrikes killed two weapons experts of the militant group in Syria.
Coalition spokesman Colonel Ryan Dillon told reporters at the Pentagon that the air raids were targeting militant engineers to cut down their abilities to use drones in the attacks.
Isis has mostly been driven out of Iraq following a months-long battle with local government forces backed by the coalition. Mosul — a former Isis stronghold — was declared completely liberated in July and a month later the Iraqi government announced the liberation of Tal Afar town and the Nineveh province that had fallen to the militants in 2014.
The fight to liberate Syria is still ongoing, especially in the militant stronghold of Raqqa, with the coalition conducting regular airstrikes in the militant-occupied regions to drive them out.
"We are destroying their launch points, we are killing their engineers, we are dismantling their manufacturing facilities and their users," Dillon told reporters and added: "We are ripping apart their ability to use drones and to further get better" at perfecting their drone technology.
Elaborating on the latest strikes that Dillon said were conducted on Monday, he noted that Abu Anas al-Shami — an Isis weapons research leader who led efforts to procure explosives for the group — was killed during an airstrike near Mayadin, Syria.
Shami was reportedly known to hatch plans to use bombs in external terror attack plots and "also oversaw the building of improvised explosives to rig corpses, vehicles and buildings to try and help Isis cling to strongholds they are losing in Iraq and Syria", Dillon said.
The spokesman added that another strike in the same region killed Junaid ur Rehman, who was a senior Isis drone pilot and engineer and was working to enhance the group's ability to weaponise drones. He too played an important role in plotting external terror attacks. He was also engaged in conducting aerial surveillance in Iraq and Syria.