WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An Islamic State chemical weapons expert was killed in a coalition airstrike last week near Mosul, Iraq, the U.S. Central Command said in a statement on Friday.
Abu Malik, who was killed Jan. 24, had been a chemical weapons engineer during the rule of Saddam Hussein and then affiliated himself with al Qaeda Iraq in 2005, Central Command said. When he joined Islamic State, also known as ISIL, it gave the insurgent force a chemical weapons capability, the statement said.
"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 said.
(Writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Eric Beech)