Pentagon Says US Drone Strike Kills Senior ISIS Leader Tariq Bin Tahar Al-‘Awni Al-Harzi
A senior Islamic State militant identified as Tariq Bin Tahar Al-‘Awni Al-Harzi was killed in June during a U.S.-led coalition drone strike in Syria, the Pentagon announced on Thursday.
Navy Captain Jeff Davis, Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement al-Harzi was killed on June 16 in the northern city of Shaddadi. It was a double feat as an air strike in Iraq a day earlier likewise killed his brother Ali, an ISIS recruiter. The latter was also described as a person of interest in the Benghazi attacks during 2012.
Al-Harzi, who hails from Tunisia, worked as one of the group’s fundraisers. He was also the point person in securing arms and facilitated the transport of fighters for the militant group. In 2013, al-Harzi arranged a $2 million donation into the group from a supporter based in Qatar.
“His death will impact ISIL’s ability to integrate foreign terrorist fighters into the Syrian and Iraqi fight as well as to move people and equipment across the border between Syria and Iraq,” Davis said.
The Associated Press reports the air strikes that day, apart from Shaddadi where al-Harzi was killed, were conducted at other locations in Syria, including two near Al Hasakah. The latter is near Shaddadi. The strikes that targeted al Hasakah struck an Islamic State tactical unit, as well as destroyed a vehicle and two antenna arrays.
There was a $3 million bounty for the head of the senior ISIS leader that will be given by the U.S. State Department in exchange for information leading to his whereabouts.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury designated al-Harzi as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist on September 24, 2014 for acting for or on behalf of ISIL.
There were no reports of any civilian casualties in the US drone strike operations.