CBSN

ISIS operative Ali Awni al-Harzi killed in U.S. airstrike

WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon says an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) operative suspected of involvement in the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, has been killed in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq.

Defense Department spokesman Col. Steve Warren says Ali Awni al-Harzi "operated closely" with Islamic State-associated extremists in North Africa and the Middle East.

"His death degrades ISIL's ability to integrate North African jihadists into the Syrian and Iraqi fight and removes a jihadist with long ties to international terrorism," Warren said in a statement released to CBS News.

The Pentagon says al-Harzi was killed last week in Mosul, which fell to Islamic State forces a year ago.

The Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. outpost in Benghazi killed four Americans, including U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens.