ISTANBUL – A prominent Muslim cleric has been killed in Raqqa province, northeastern Syria, in an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition forces, loyalists of the radical group of Islamic State (ISIS) reported.
“A key recruiter of the Islamic State said a U.S.-led airstrike killed Friday the Tunisian prominent preacher Kamel Zarrouk in Syria on Friday,” an ISIS loyalist tweeted.
The source said that Islamic State announced “the martyrdom of Kamel Zarrouk in a Crusader strike” in the city of Raqqa.
“We should trust in God and attack his enemies,” the pro-ISIS jihadist Muhammad Ali al-Askar said.
Subsequent to his leadership for the radical Islamist group of Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia, the Salafi cleric Zarrouk joined the ISIS terror group in 2014.
“The cleric was a key recruiter of thousands of Tunisian men joining Jihad in Syria and Iraq,” al-Askar added.
“May God accept him with the martyrs,” he said using a picture of Zarrouk carrying his rifle.
Other pro-ISIS activists remembered Zarrouk for his inciting remarks regarding the deadly attack on the Paris office of the French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo.
— محمد علي العسكري (@askrimhamedali) October 17, 2015
“All Muslims must kiss the head and hands of those who killed the journalists,” Zarrouk had said in a videotape, referring to the militants who broke into the newspaper’s office and shot 12 people dead. “France will be conquered,” he said.
Zarrouk has appeared in a picture in November of last year, preaching to ISIS’ loyalists at a mosque in the group’s de facto capital, Raqqa.
بشراكم يا اهل الشام اول خيمة دعوية للشيخ كمال زروق بعد وصوله الرقة كان أسد المنابر بتونس pic.twitter.com/t4c98SKqMv
— 5إشراقـة #خلآفه☝ (@h6Iksdfs849) نوفمبر 22, 2014
ARA News could not verify the death of Zaroukh from other independent sources.
Since the start of the U.S.-led coalition’s campaign against ISIS, several senior militant commanders have been killed in Syria and Iraq. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the group’s leader, was expected to be among the targeted members, but hospital sources and local residents have denied Baghdadi’s death.
The Iraqi military claimed in a statement earlier this month that an airstrike had hit Baghdadi’s convoy as it headed to a meeting in Karabla, a town in the western Iraqi province of Anbar.
Reporting by: Egid Yousef
Source: ARA News
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