U.S. offers $ 10 million bounty for information on Lebanese Hezbollah’s man in Iraq

WASHINGTON – The U.S. State Department announced a reward of $ 10 million for information about Sheikh Muhammad al-Kawtharani, the representative of Lebanese Hezbollah in Iraq who is on the U.S.’s terrorist list.

On Friday, the State Department said that al-Kawtharani undertook activities for political coordination between paramilitary pro-Iranian groups. “Al-Kawtharani facilitates the work of groups that operated outside the control of the Iraqi government, violently suppressed protests, attacked foreign diplomatic missions and have been involved in organized criminal activities on a large scale,” the U.S. State Department added.

The State Department offered a $ 10 million reward for information on Al-Kawtharani’s activities and the networks associated with him in an effort to eliminate the Iranian influence in Iraq and Syria.

The U.S. included al-Kawtharani on the terrorism list in 2013, accusing him of financing illegal armed groups in Iraq and transferring Iraqi fighters to Syria to support the forces of Bashar al-Assad.

Last February, it was reported that Lebanese Hezbollah were assuming supervision of the activities of pro-Iranian groups in Iraq after the assassination of high-ranking Iranian commander of Al-Quds Force Qassim Soleimani in early January by a U.S. drown strike. Reports indicated that Al-Kawtharani has effectively stepped in to Soleimani’s role as interlocutor for the Iranian-backed militias in Iraq.