DoD Says Top ISIS Moneyman Killed In Coalition Airstrike

Photo via DoD

A blacklisted top ISIS financier was killed last week in an airstrike by the U.S.-led, anti-ISIS coalition inside one of the group’s final strongholds along the Euphrates River in eastern Syria, the Pentagon said on June 23.

Syrian native Fawaz Muhammad Jubayr al-Rawi was described by U.S. officials as an ISIS finance emir who used his financial business to fund terrorism, including the payment of foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria, in a statement released by the Operation Inherent Resolve coalition. Al-Rawi was killed June 16 in an attack targeting him in Abu Kamal, a city near Iraq’s border that has been controlled by the terrorist group since 2014, according to the statement.

Al-Rawi and his company, Hanifa Currency Exchange, were sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department in December 2016 for supporting ISIS. It was the first time the United States directly sanctioned ISIS’s financial operations, according to a Treasury Department statement at the time.

The United States believes al-Rawi opened his money services business in Abu Kamal in 2010 and used the company to exchange currency between Syria and Turkey. When ISIS entered Abu Kamal, he facilitated the group’s weapons and ammunition buys in the area through established contacts, according to the Treasury Department.

The Pentagon said he then pledged loyalty to ISIS and began helping the group store and move money to fund its vast network of foreign fighters who, at the time, had been flocking to fight for the group in Iraq and Syria. He additionally provided his personally owned farm near Abu Kamal for senior ISIS leaders, including commanders and fighters, to hold weekly meetings, the Pentagon said.

Killing al-Rawi should “disrupt ISIS’s financial networks” and “restrict the terror group’s ability to move resources and export terrorism,” the coalition statement read.

Al-Rawi was one of many top ISIS leaders who are believed to be living and operating in the Euphrates River Valley south of Raqqa, ISIS’s self-proclaimed capital which is under siege by U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. U.S. officials have said most of ISIS’s leadership fled Raqqa in recent months to other cities along the river, including Deir al-Zour, Mayadin and Abu Khamal.

Coalition airstrikes have killed at least four high-ranking ISIS leaders in that area in recent months, including al-Rawi.

“That is still ISIS-held territory,” said Army Col. Ryan Dillon, spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition. “We know they have resources, particularly financial resources, in and around there. We will continue to strike in these areas when we have targets. ISIS has no sanctuary wherever they hold ground.”


©2017 the Stars and Stripes. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


Pictured left to right: Pedro Pascal ("Catfish"), Garrett Hedlund ("Ben"), Charlie Hunnam ("Ironhead"), and Ben Affleck ("Redfly") Photo Courtesy of Netflix

A new trailer for Netflix's Triple Frontier dropped last week, and it looks like a gritty mash-up of post-9/11 war dramas Zero Dark Thirty and Hurt Locker and crime thrillers Narcos and The Town.

Read More Show Less
Army Sgt. Daniel Cowart gets a hug from then-Dallas Cowboys defensive end Chris Canty. Photo: Department of Defense

The Distinguished Service Cross was made for guys like Sgt. Daniel Cowart, who literally tackled and " hand to hand combat" a man wearing a suicide vest while he was on patrol in Iraq.

So it's no wonder he's having his Silver Star upgraded to the second-highest military award.

Read More Show Less
A small unmanned aerial vehicle built by service academy cadets is shown here flying above ground. This type of small UAV was used by cadets and midshipmen from the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy, during a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency-sponsored competition at Camp Roberts, California, April 23-25, 2017. During the competition, cadets and midshipmen controlled small UAVs in "swarm" formations to guard territory on the ground at Camp Roberts. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Drones have been used in conflicts across the globe and will play an even more important role in the future of warfare. But, the future of drones in combat will be different than what we have seen before.

The U.S. military can set itself apart from others by embracing autonomous drone warfare through swarming — attacking an enemy from multiple directions through dispersed and pulsing attacks. There is already work being done in this area: The U.S. military tested its own drone swarm in 2017, and the UK announced this week it would fund research into drone swarms that could potentially overwhelm enemy air defenses.

I propose we look to the amoeba, a single-celled organism, as a model for autonomous drones in swarm warfare. If we were to use the amoeba as this model, then we could mimic how the organism propels itself by changing the structure of its body with the purpose of swarming and destroying an enemy.

Read More Show Less
Soldiers from 4th Squadron, 9th U.S. Cavalry Regiment "Dark Horse," 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, are escorted by observer controllers from the U.S. Army Operational Test Command after completing field testing of the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) Sept. 24, 2018. (U.S. Army/Maj. Carson Petry)

The Army has awarded a $575 million contract to BAE Systems for the initial production of its replacement for the M113 armored personnel carriers the service has been rocking downrange since the Vietnam War.

Read More Show Less

President Donald Trump has formally outlined how his administration plans to stand up the Space Force as the sixth U.S. military service – if Congress approves.

On Tuesday, Trump signed a directive that calls for the Defense Department to submit a proposal to Congress that would make Space Force fall under Department of the Air Force, a senior administration official said.

Read More Show Less