US offers $10 million reward for information on senior Hezbollah figure

Mohammad Kawtharani is accused of heading up the group's actions in Iraq

The United States has offered a reward of up to $10 million (Dh36.7 million) for information on the activities and networks of Mohammad Kawtharani, a military commander in the Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah.

The US State Department said Kawtharani was a senior leader of Hezbollah units in Iraq and had also taken over some of the political co-ordination of other Iran-linked paramilitary groups in the country since death of Iranian general Qassem Suleimani in January.

"In this capacity, he facilitates the actions of groups operating outside the control of the Government of Iraq that have violently suppressed protests, attacked foreign diplomatic missions, and engaged in wide-spread organised criminal activity," the State Department said.

"As a member of Hezbollah Political Council, Kawtharani has worked to promote Hezbollah interests in Iraq, including Hezbollah efforts to provide training, funding, political, and logistical support to Iraqi Shia insurgent groups," it added.

He was designated as a terrorist by the US Treasury in 2013.

"This announcement is part of the department’s standing reward offer for information leading to the disruption of the financial mechanisms of the terrorist organisation Lebanese Hezbollah," the State Department said.

The US also offering up to $15m for information on Abdul Reza Shahla'i, a Yemen-based commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guard Quds Force, under its Rewards for Justice programme.

The State Department said Shahla'i was based in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital held by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, group and had a long history of targeting Americans and US allies globally, including the January 2007 attack in Karbala, Iraq that killed five American soldiers and wounded three others.

He also provided funding of $5m and directed the attempted assassination of the Saudi ambassador to Washington in 2011, the department said.