ISIS commander killed in US air strike in Syria

'Amir Of Suicide Bombers' reportedly killed in US drone strike in Syria

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The Pentagon said on Thursday that a drone strike in Syria has killed a senior ISIS leader responsible for overseeing the recruitment of foreign fighters to wage suicide attacks in Iraq and Syria.

According to Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis, Tahar al-'Awni al-Harzi was killed June 16 in Shaddadi, a district of Hasakah province.

Harzi was designated a global terrorist by the US Treasury Department last September, which dubbed him the "amir of suicide bombers." Harzi's death will hurt ISIS' ability to move foreign fighters in and out of the region, Davis said .

“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,” said Davis.

Harzi - a 33-year-old Tunisian - was reportedly killed on June 16, a day after his brother Ali was killed in a separated missile strike in Iraq, the Pentagon disclosed last week.

The State Department said that Harzi had a major role in recruiting fighters from the UK, Albania, Denmark and North Africa.

Harzi was suspected of direct involvement in the 2012 attack on a US post in Libya’s Benghazi which killed four Americans, including the US ambassador to the country.

ISIS have seized large areas in Syria and Iraq and declared a self-imposed rule last year but have come under strain after a series of defeats in Syria brought about in part by air strikes on its forces and infrastructure.

A US-led coalition began air strikes targeting ISIS positions in Syria and Iraq ta in September.

United States Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last month that US-led coalition forces killed more than 10,000 ISIS fighters during nine months of aerial operations in both Iraq and Syria.

TRTWorld and agencies