Carter says 3 key Islamic State militants killed in Syria

An ISIS fighter in Syria - photo courtesy CNN

An ISIS fighter in Syria - photo courtesy CNN

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter says the U.S. has killed three key leaders of the Islamic State group in Syria.

Among the dead were two militants believed to be tied to the November 2015 attacks in Paris that killed 130 people.

Carter announced the killings during an address Tuesday to U.S. airmen at a military base in Italy.

Carter’s spokesman, Peter Cook, said later that the three were killed in an airstrike Dec. 4 in Raqqa.

Cook said the two involved in the Paris attacks, Salah Gourmat and Sammy Djedou, were close associates of Islamic State external operations leader Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, who was killed in August.

He said the third person, Walid Hamman, had been convicted in absentia in Belgium for a disrupted 2015 planned attack.