Iraqi Veteran Sniper Responsible For Killing 384 ISIS Members
An Iraqi sniper known as 'Hawk Eye' was believed to have been responsible for gunning down a reported 384 Islamic State jihadists before his death in 2017.
Abu Tahsin al-Salhi was a veteran Iraqi militiaman, who became something of a local legend during his lifetime.
Often seen driving an off-road motorbike and wearing a black-and-white checkered scarf and fingerless gloves, al-Salhi was said to be inseparable from his Austrian-made Steyr rifle, which he claimed had killed hundreds.
Al Sura reports that al-Salhi was born in 1953, and had been involved in conflicts dating back to the 1973 Yom Kippur War, along with the Iran-Iraq war, the invasion of Kuwait, the Gulf War and, latterly, fights against ISIS.
He told the outlet that he had killed at least 321 Islamic State members, although later reports suggest numbers may have been as high as 384.
His final battle came three years ago when he was killed during an attempt to retake Hawija, in northern Iraq, from ISIS.
According to the Israel Times, al-Salhi died as he advanced on Hawija, as confirmed by Ahmad al-Assadi, a spokesman for the Hashed al-Shaabi alliance.
Al-Salhi's funeral was held near the southern port city of Basra, with close friend Ahmad Ali Hussein saying he was widely known by comrades as 'Hawk Eye' or 'The Sheikh of Snipers'.
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Speaking to British explorer Levison Wood in an interview, al-Salhi discussed why he chose to become a sniper, simply saying: "Hunting is my hobby."
He added: "I shoot out of certainty because I know my enemy and the enemy of humanity."
When asked about whether or not he had a bounty on his head, al-Salhi said: "[ISIS leader] Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi put $250,000 [...] to exterminate me, the sniper of Hashd al-Shaabi."
Photos of al-Salhi have recently resurfaced over on Reddit, where one user wrote: "This is a picture of Abu Tahsin al-Salhi, an Iraqi veteran sniper who is credited with killing over 384 ISIS members during the Iraqi Civil War, receiving the nickname 'Hawk Eye'. The leader of ISIS was so afraid of him, he put a bounty of $250,000 on the sniper."
The post has been upvoted more than 59,000 times, and also has 1,600 comments on the thread.
One Reddit user wrote: "He looks like the guy you underestimate just once."
Another user said: "Man he looks so f***ing badass."
Featured Image Credit: HAIDAR MOHAMMED ALI/AFP via Getty Images
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