MILITARY

Pentagon: Islamic State operative suspected in 2012 Benghazi attack killed in US airstrike

FILE - This March 27, 2008, file photo, shows the Pentagon in Washington. Ali Awni al-Harzi, an Islamic State 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, the Pentagon said Monday, June 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

FILE - This March 27, 2008, file photo, shows the Pentagon in Washington. Ali Awni al-Harzi, an Islamic State 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, the Pentagon said Monday, June 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)  (The Associated Press)

The Pentagon says an Islamic State 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. Warren says al-Harzi's death will diminish the radical group's ability to recruit North African jihadists into its fight in Syria and Iraq.

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.