Abu Tahsin al-Salhi

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Abu Tahsin al-Salhi; (Arabic: أبو تحسين الصالحي‎ 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 "Hawk Eye".[1]

Prior to the Iraqi Civil War, al-Salhi participated in the Yom Kippur War, the Iran–Iraq War, the invasion of Kuwait, the Gulf War, and 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[edit]

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, had eleven children, five girls and six boys. He traveled to Kuwait in the 1970s and worked 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 with , from this he gained knowledge in hunting (shooting).[citation needed]

Military career[edit]

Months before the Yom Kippur War in the 1970s he was nominated to travel to Belarus to train in a course, and took second place[citation needed]. The first war he participated in was the Yom Kippur War in 1973, where he was stationed in the Golan Heights, in the 5th mountainous brigade. The second war was the Second Kurdish–Iraqi War in 1974. From the start of the uprising until 2014 he joined the Sadr brigade where he participated in the liberation of many provinces in Iraq, but he didn't fit well 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]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Anti-IS 'sheikh sniper' killed in battle for Iraq's Hawija". Gulf Times. 30 September 2017. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  2. ^ a b "ISIS killer: Iraqi sniper Abu Tahseen claims to have shot 173 terrorists in video". News.com.au. 31 March 2016. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  3. ^ "63-year-old Iraqi sniper says he has killed 321 Isis fighters since 2015". International Business Times. 25 February 2017. Retrieved 1 October 2017.