U.S. raid kills I.S. second-in-command

Mar 25, 2016, 1:48 PM EDT

The U.S. claimed on Friday that it killed the Islamic State’s second-in-command, Abdul Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli, in a raid in Syria last week. The U.S. Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter, said that the American forces were systematically eliminating the armed group’s leadership.

Defense officials said that the troops, who initially planned to catch Mustafa al-Qaduli alive, landed in helicopters but “the situation escalated”, leaving the I.S. leader and three other people  dead in his vehicle, writes BBC.

Highlighting the importance of this assault, Carter said, "We've taken out the leader who oversees the funding for I.S.I.L.'s operations, hurting their ability to pay fighters and hire recruits." writes CNN.  However, the U.S. Central Command, which monitors military operations in the region, denied the claim, saying that it had no information on the killing of the I.S. leader, reports the media outlet.

Although such a successful operation is a big achievement, “by no means” is the fight over, said Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joseph Dunford, as quoted by CNN.

Knowing that defeating the Islamic State is not simple, the U.S. plans to hold talks with its partners in the Gulf in order to strengthen its campaign against the armed group, reports AlJazeera.