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Abu Tahsin al-Salhi (1953 – 29 September 2017) was an Iraqi veteran sniper. A volunteer in Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces, he is credited with killing over 350 ISIL members during the Iraqi Civil War, receiving the nicknames "The Sheikh of Snipers" and the "Hawk Eye".[1]

Prior to Iraqi Civil War, al-Salhi participated in the Yom Kippur War, the Iran–Iraq War, the invasion of Kuwait, the Gulf War as well as the 2003 Invasion of Iraq.[2] According to al-Salhi, in the Yom Kippur War he was part of an Iraqi brigade fighting on Golan Heights.[1] Around May 2015 al-Salhi joined the Popular Mobilization Forces and became stationed in the Makhoul Mountains, northern Iraq,[2] armed with a Steyr rifle.[1] Al-Salhi began fighting ISIL in Jurf Al Nasr (formerly Jurf Al Sakhar) and learned sniper skills from the Russian military.[3]

Early life[]

Ali Jiyad Obaid al-Salihi (Arabic: علي جياد عبيد الصالحي), known by his nom de guerre The Hawk Eye or teknonym Abu Tahsin (Arabic: أبو تحسين) was born in 1953, became married and had eleven children, five girls and six boys - he traveled to Kuwait in the 1970s and worked in many jobs there, two of which being a shepherd of cows and camels. He had a French rifle to protect him and to hunt rabbits and coyotes with it, from this he gained knowledge in hunting (shooting).

Military career[]

Months before the Yom Kippur War in the 1970s he was nominated to travel to the Belarus to train in a course, he took the second place in the course. First war he participated in was the Yom Kippur War in the 1973, where he was stationed in the Golan Heights, in the 5th mountainous brigade. The second war was The Second Kurdish–Iraqi War in the 1974. He stopped fighting from the period of the 1975 till the 1991 uprisings in Iraq which he participated in. From the period of the uprising till 2014, he participated in the war from the 18th of June, where he joined the Sadr brigade, he participated in the liberation of many provinces in Iraq, but he didn't see good for him in this brigade, so he switched to the 'Liwa Ali Al Akbar and this is where his skills began to show. He had 350 confirmed kills.


According to the Popular Mobilization Forces spokesman, al-Salhi was killed as he advanced on Hawija in Iraq.[1] His funeral took place on 30 September 2017.[1]


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