ISIS’s ‘Omar the Chechen’ confirmed dead

Shishani - the nom de guerre of Tarkhan Batirashvili - was one of the ISIS leaders most wanted by Washington, which put a $5 million bounty on his head. (AP)

A top Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group commander known as “Omar the Chechen” is dead after suffering injuries in a US-led coalition strike in northeastern Syria, the Pentagon confirmed Monday.

The announcement would appear to clear up the fate of the notorious Omar al-Shishani, a week after a US official said the most-wanted militant had been targeted in a March 4 attack on the extremist’s convoy.

“We believe he subsequently died of his injuries,” Navy Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, told AFP.

But a news agency that supports ISIS on Tuesday denied reports that al-Shishani had been killed or wounded.

Amaq agency quoted a source saying Shishani "had not been exposed to any injury".

ISIS has not issued a formal statement on Shishani, and it was not possible to independently establish his condition.

Born in 1986 in Georgia, which was then still part of the Soviet Union, the red-bearded Shishani had a reputation as a close military adviser to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Shishani - the nom de guerre of Tarkhan Batirashvili - was one of the ISIS leaders most wanted by Washington, which put a $5 million bounty on his head.

On Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said Shishani had been “clinically dead” for several days.

 

(with AFP and Reuters)

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:46 - GMT 06:46
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