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U.S. airstrike kills one of first Islamic State members in Syria

By
Danielle Haynes
A U.S. coalition airstrike killed Tariq Bin al-Tahar Bin al Falih al-Awni al-Harzi, a senior Islamic State leader, in Syria. Photo courtesy the U.S. State Department
A U.S. coalition airstrike killed Tariq Bin al-Tahar Bin al Falih al-Awni al-Harzi, a senior Islamic State leader, in Syria. Photo courtesy the U.S. State Department

WASHINGTON, July 2 (UPI) -- One of the first militants to join the Islamic State was killed by a U.S. coalition airstrike last month in Syria, a Pentagon official said Thursday.

The jet strike killed Tariq Bin al-Tahar Bin al Falih al-Awni al-Harzi, 33, whose job was to raise funds to help support IS -- also identified as Daesh and the acronyms ISIS and ISIL. He also helped recruit foreign fighters and shipped weapons from Libya to Syria for the terror group, Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said.

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"His death will impact [IS'] 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.

Al-Harzi was killed June 16 in Shaddadi, Syria. He was the subject of a $3 million reward offered by the U.S. State Department.

Al-Harzi's death came one day after that of his brother, Ali Awni al-Harzi, a key suspect in the 2012 Benghazi U.S. Consulate attack and also a member of IS. He was killed June 15 in a U.S. drone strike in Mosul, Iraq.

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