RELIGION

Officials: US killed senior Islamic State leader

  • Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, with Defense Secretary Ash Carter, speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon, Friday, March 25, 2016, where they announced U.S. forces killed a senior Islamic State leader, among several key members of the militant group eliminated this week. (AP Photo/Mauel Balce Ceneta)

    Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, with Defense Secretary Ash Carter, speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon, Friday, March 25, 2016, where they announced U.S. forces killed a senior Islamic State leader, among several key members of the militant group eliminated this week. (AP Photo/Mauel Balce Ceneta)  (The Associated Press)

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter, accompanied by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon, Friday, March 25, 2016, where he announced U.S. forces killed a senior Islamic State leader, among several key members of the militant group eliminated this week. (AP Photo/Mauel Balce Ceneta)

    Defense Secretary Ash Carter, accompanied by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon, Friday, March 25, 2016, where he announced U.S. forces killed a senior Islamic State leader, among several key members of the militant group eliminated this week. (AP Photo/Mauel Balce Ceneta)  (The Associated Press)

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter, accompanied by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon, Friday, March 25, 2016, where they announced U.S. forces killed a senior Islamic State leader, among several key members of the militant group eliminated this week. (AP Photo/Mauel Balce Ceneta)

    Defense Secretary Ash Carter, accompanied by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon, Friday, March 25, 2016, where they announced U.S. forces killed a senior Islamic State leader, among several key members of the militant group eliminated this week. (AP Photo/Mauel Balce Ceneta)  (The Associated Press)

U.S. officials say a senior Islamic State leader has been killed, marking a further erosion of top leadership in the militant group in Syria and Iraq.

The officials were not authorized to discuss the operation and so spoke on condition of anonymity. The identity of the senior leader was not immediately available, as Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, prepared to hold a Pentagon news conference Friday.

The U.S. military has killed numerous Islamic State leaders in recent months. Earlier this month the Pentagon said it killed Omar al-Shishani, described as the Islamic State's "minister of war," in an airstrike in Syria. In November, the Pentagon said an airstrike in Libya killed Abu Nabil, another top IS leader.