IS leader linked to Paris attacks 'mastermind' killed in Syria

French police officers stand guard at Place de la Republique in Paris on November 21, 2015 as people gather to pay tribute to the victims of the November 13 terror attacks in the cityAn Islamic State leader with “direct” ties to the alleged mastermind of the Paris attacks was among 10 of the group’s higher-ups killed in Syria and Iraq this month, the Pentagon said Tuesday. The US military says such strikes are helping to weaken the jihadist group, which captured large parts of Iraq and Syria last year but has recently seen significant setbacks including this week’s loss of Ramadi in Iraq. Baghdad-based US military spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said French national Charaffe el Mouadan was killed in a US-led coalition strike on December 24.

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