Airstrike in Syria Kills Islamic State Operative, Pentagon Says

A senior Islamic State operative was killed in a June airstrike in Syria by the U.S.-led coalition, the Pentagon said Thursday.

Tariq bin Tahar al-Awni al-Harzi, who raised money and recruited fighters for the extremist group, died in a strike in the town of al-Shaddadi in eastern Syria, Navy Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement.

The military reported conducting two airstrikes in the al-Hasakah area of Syria, which includes the town of al-Shaddadi, on June 16. It said at the time that those strikes hit an Islamic State tactical unit, two antenna arrays and a vehicle, but made no mention of enemy casualties.

A separate airstrike in Iraq on June 15 killed al-Harzi’s brother, Ali Awni al-Harzi, who was considered a “person of interest” in the 2012 attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans.

The al-Harzi brother found in Syria worked to procure and ship weapons from Libya to Syria on behalf of Islamic State, Davis said.

“His death will impact ISIL’s ability to integrate foreign terrorist fighters into the Syrian and Iraqi fight as well as move people and equipment across the border between Syria and Iraq,” he said, using an acronym for Islamic State.

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