Malaysian IS militants killed in Syria airstrike

Malaysian IS militants killed in Syria airstrike
Air raids on the IS-held Syrian city of Raqqa have left three Malaysian militants dead, including the leader of the IS Malay-speaking branch, authorities confirmed on Saturday.
2 min read
15 January, 2017

Three Malaysian militants belonging to the Islamic State group were killed in a US-led coalition airstrike on Syria's Raqqa, Malaysian media have reported.

Among the dead was a high-ranking militant, said to be the leader of IS' Malay-speaking contingent.

Zainuri Kamaruddin - also known as Abu Talhah - led the Malay-speaking arm of the group known as Katibah Nusantara and appeared in propaganda videos produced by the group.

Sazrizal Mohammed Sofian Thayalan, 27 and Ahmad Asyraf Arbee Ahmad Jamal Arbee, 31, were also killed in the airstrikes.

News of the deaths emerged from relatives in Malaysia who said they were told on early Saturday, according to Malay daily Mingguan Malaysia.

The trio reportedly travelled to Syria in April 2014.

Bukit Aman counter terrorism unit deputy director Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the latest deaths brings the number of Malays killed fighting with IS in Syria and Iraq to 30.

The news follows claims by Iraq's Popular Mobilisation Forces militias suggesting IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is trapped in Mosul.

"Initial information with the intelligence bodies tell that… Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi remains in Nineveh [Mosul province]… as security forces impose control over the eastern side of Mosul, while the western side is totally isolated from Syrian territories," said Jawad al-Tleibawai, a militia leader.