Analysts believe al-Qaduli may have been nominated to take control of the day-to-day running of ISIS, also called ISIL, if its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed or incapacitated.
A Pentagon official said that the operation was launched with an intention to capture Al Qaduli alove. Helicopters carrying special operations forces swooped in on a vehicle carrying al-Qaduli, but at the last moment something happened which forced the American soldiers to open fire at the vehicle. The official did not reveal why they change the plan.
Al Qaduli's death was announced by Defense Secretary Ash Carter at a news conference Friday morning. "We are systematically eliminating ISIL's cabinet," Carter said, adding it was "the second senior ISIL leader we've successfully targeted this month."
Explaining the significance of this particular figure, Carter noted, "We've taken out the leader who oversees the funding for ISIL's operations, hurting their ability to pay fighters and hire recruits."
Asked whether the US was turning the corner on the fight against ISIS, Carter responded, "We're certainly gathering momentum and we're seeing that that momentum is having an effect."
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Joseph Dunford also addressed the press meet. He told reporters that the US-led coalition was gaining momentum, but he cautioned: "By no means would I say that we're about to break the back of ISIL or that the fight is over."
"Like Paris, Brussels is a strong reminder of why we need to hasten the defeat of ISIL wherever it exists in the world," Carter said, stressing the United States' commitment to Europe.
"Our enemies are one and the same," he declared."And together we continue to do more and more to bring the full weight of our vast military capabilities to bear in accelerating the defeat of ISIL."