Air strike kills Islamic State leader in Syria: Pentagon

A flag of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is seen on the other side of a bridge at the frontline of fighting between Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Islamist militants in Rashad on Sept 11, 2014.
A flag of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is seen on the other side of a bridge at the frontline of fighting between Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Islamist militants in Rashad on Sept 11, 2014.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A senior Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) leader who recruited funds and fighters and procured weapons for the militants has been killed in a coalition air strike in Syria, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

Tariq bin Tahar al-Awni al-Harzi was killed in the northern city of Shaddadi on June 16, Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said in a statement.

His brother Ali, an ISIS recruiter and person of interest in the 2012 Benghazi attack, was killed by an air strike in Iraq a day earlier.

The Pentagon said Harzi was "responsible for moving people and material into Syria and Iraq" and also raised funds to recruit fighters and facilitate travel.

In addition, he supported the Islamic State group by procuring and shipping weapons from Libya to Syria, where the militants have taken large swathes of territory.

He also aided with suicide attacks.

The Pentagon said his death was a significant blow to the Islamic State group.

"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.

ISIL is an alternative acronym for the group.