ISIS chemical weapons expert killed in airstrike

The Pentagon said Friday that a chemical weapons expert with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was killed on killed Jan. 24 by a coalition airstrike in Iraq. 


U.S. Central Command described the expert, Abu Malik, as a "terrorist." Officials said he was a chemical weapons engineer who worked at Saddam Hussein's Muthana chemical weapon production facility, before joining al Qaeda in Iraq in 2005. 

"He later joined ISIL and his past training and experience provided the terrorist group with expertise to pursue a chemical weapons capability," Centcom said in a statement, using an alternate name for the terror group.

"His death is expected to temporarily degrade and disrupt the terrorist network and diminish ISIL's ability to potentially produce and use chemical weapons against innocent people," the statement added. 

Although U.S. officials say coalition airstrikes have killed more than 6,000 people, the Pentagon has only announced the names of less than a handful. 
In December, U.S. military officials confirmed the names of two top-level and one mid-level ISIS leaders killed. 

U.S. officials are eager to show progress in the war against ISIS to an impatient public, six months after the U.S.-led airstrike campaign began in August. 

Earlier this week, the Pentagon announced that Kurdish forces had regained 90 percent control of Kobani, a town in Syria that ISIS had sought to take over. 
This story was updated at 6:42 p.m.