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Syrian Monitor: US Strike Did Not Kill Islamic State Commander

  • VOA News

FILE - Tarkhan Batirashvili – known by his aliases ‘Omar al-Shishani’ and 'Omar the Chechen' – is one of the most senior Islamic State military commanders and a former sergeant in the Georgian Army. The U.S. is trying to determine if an airstrike last wee

FILE - Tarkhan Batirashvili – known by his aliases ‘Omar al-Shishani’ and 'Omar the Chechen' – is one of the most senior Islamic State military commanders and a former sergeant in the Georgian Army. The U.S. is trying to determine if an airstrike last wee

A group that monitors violence in Syria says an Islamic State militant described as the group's military commander was seriously injured, but not killed, in an airstrike last week.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday that Tarkhan Batirashvili, also known as Abu Omar al-Shishani or "Omar the Chechen," was taken after the strike to the Islamic State stronghold in Raqqa, Syria for treatment.

U.S. officials had said he was likely killed by the airstrike near the northeastern town of al-Shaddadi.

An official speaking to VOA on the condition of anonymity Tuesday said Batirashvili was believed to be in the area to assess the strength of his forces and boost morale after losing territory to U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. The official said the airstrike killed as many as 12 Islamic State fighters.

Batirashvili is one of the most wanted terrorists by the United States, which is offering a $5 million reward for information that brings him to justice.

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