Isis leader Abu Omar al-Shishani - also known as Omar the Chechen - 'killed in US air strike'

Reports said the air strlke took place on 4 March

Andrew Buncombe
New York
Tuesday 08 March 2016 21:32

A senior Isis leader, Abu Omar al-Shishani, a Syrian-based Georgian national, may have been killed in an air strike by the US-led coalition, it has been reported.

Reuters said that US officials said the militant may have been killed near the Syrian town of al-Shadad.

The United States had offered up to $5m reward for information about Shishani, also known as Omar the Chechen, who officials said served as the group’s de facto minister of war. Born in 1986 in Georgia, which was then still part of the Soviet Union, Shishani had a reputation as a close military adviser to Isis’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was said by followers to have relied heavily on Shishani.

The undated images claim to show Al-Baghdadi addressing a mosque

Two US officials told the news agency that a determination about Shishani's fate was not certain and that the results of the operation still were being reviewed. A third official limited himself to saying Shishani was targeted in the strike.

The US State Department described Shishani as a senior Isis commander and Shura Council member based in al-Raqqa, the Islamic State's de facto capital in Syria.

It said he was identified as Isis’s military commander in a video distributed by the group in 2014.

Shishani, whose name was originally Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili, oversaw a prison facility near Raqqa where Islamic State possibly held foreign hostages.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments