Advertisement

Islamic State war minister 'Omar the Chechen' likely killed in U.S. airstrike

By Andrew V. Pestano
Islamic State war minister 'Omar the Chechen' likely killed in U.S. airstrike
"Omar the Chechen" -- also known as Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili -- was likely killed in a recent U.S. airstrike conducted in Syria. The Islamic State militant had a $5 million bounty on his head. Illustration by Oleg Zabielin/Shutterstock

DAMASCUS, Syria, March 9 (UPI) -- The Department of Defense revealed a recent U.S. airstrike possibly killed an Islamic State war minister known as "Omar the Chechen" who had a $5 million bounty on his head.

Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili, also known as Abu Umar al-Shishani, was targeted in the airstrike conducted on Friday. He is a Georgian national based in Syria who held top military positions with the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, Daesh and ISIL.

Advertisement

"Batirashvili is a battle-tested leader with experience who had led ISIL fighters in numerous engagements in Iraq and Syria," Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a statement Tuesday. "His potential removal from the battlefield would negatively impact ISIL's ability to recruit foreign fighters -- especially those from Chechnya and the Caucus regions -- and degrade ISIL's ability to coordinate attacks and defense of its strongholds like Raqqa, Syria, and Mosul, Iraq."

He was a member of the Sharia Council in the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa. Syria has been blighted by a complex civil war in which the Islamic State, the Syrian government and multiple Syrian rebel groups fight for control of territory.

Advertisement

A cease-fire recently implemented between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime and a rebel group coalition does not include the Islamic State.

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement