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US blacklists Islamic State spokesman

The United States has named two members of militant groups in Iraq and Syria on a terrorist blacklist. On Monday, the U.S. State Department listed Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, a senior leader and spokesman for the Islamic State, and Said Arif, a Syria-based member of al-Nusra Front. A statement described al-Adnani as IS’s “main conduit for the dissemination of official messages” and said the Syrian was one of the first foreign fighters to fight coalition forces following the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Arif is accused of a long history of militant activity following his defection from the Algerian military. He travelled to Afghanistan in the 1990s where he trained in al-Qaeda camps, according to the State Department. He was convicted in France in 2006 of plotting a series of attacks in Europe. He fled house arrest in France last year. Americans are now prohibited from conducting financial transactions with al-Adnani and Arif and any U.S. assets they possess have been frozen.

The United Nations also sanctioned al-Adnani and Arif under its al-Qaeda sanctions list, which requires member states to implement an asset freeze, travel ban and arms embargo.

Meanwhile, aircraft conducted 15 air strikes near Mosul dam, destroying or damaging nine IS positions, a checkpoint, six armed vehicles, a light armored vehicle, a mobile anti-aircraft gun and improvised explosive devices, according to U.S. Central Command.

The U.S. began airstrikes against IS insurgents more than a week ago. Since August 8, the U.S. has carried out 68 airstrikes in Iraq, the command said. 

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