News / Middle East

    US: IS Commander 'Omar the Chechen' Has Died

    FILE - Islamic State commander Omar al-Shishani (C), aka Omar the Chechen, is seen in an image made from undated video posted June 28, 2014, on a social media account frequently used for communications by the jihadist group.
    FILE - Islamic State commander Omar al-Shishani (C), aka Omar the Chechen, is seen in an image made from undated video posted June 28, 2014, on a social media account frequently used for communications by the jihadist group.
    Ken Bredemeier

    The United States says that a top Islamic State commander known as Omar the Chechen has died from injuries he suffered a week ago when an American airstrike targeted him in Syria.

    U.S. defense officials at first said that Omar al-Shishani, a fierce battle-hardened warlord with a thick red beard, had been killed along with 12 other Islamic State fighters in the attack on a meeting of jihadists.  Later, they said he survived the airstrike but died Monday.

    Shishani, the nom de guerre for Tarkhan Batirashvili, had a reputation as one of Islamic State's most capable commanders, with the U.S. having put a $5 million bounty on his head.  U.S. officials described him as the "equivalent of the secretary of defense" for the jihadists.

    He fought as a Chechen rebel against Russian forces before joining the Georgian military in 2006 and then battled Russian troops again in 2008.

    Four years later, he surfaced in Syria as a leader of a battalion of foreign fighters. As the Islamic State group emerged in Syria in 2013, he was named the jihadists' commander for the northern part of the country.   

    The U.S. Defense Department said that he led Islamic State fighters in many battles in Syria and Iraq and had overseen the group's prison in Raqqa, the Islamic State's self-declared capital in northern Syria.

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    Comments
         
    by: Daniel from: Seattle
    March 15, 2016 12:38 PM
    It's not the flags that say "death to America" that bother me so much as it is the armies that march beneath them. In consideration of all of them, I'd prefer this one particular "leader" were still alive to see all the soldiers in his army dead. Something like that might convince me that what America is engaged in militarily is more than a farce of symbolic gestures for the press to cheerlead about while our enemies line up to take ever-increasingly large chunks out of our rear-ends. Celebrating one dead islamist...is that supposed to inspire confidence?

    by: Kafantaris
    March 15, 2016 11:11 AM
    No mercy and no regrets for these animals. They have none for us.

    by: OldNassau from: Florida, USA
    March 15, 2016 10:45 AM
    I believe Omar al Sishani is the thirty-seventh (or thereabouts) senior( or major or top) commander (or leader or warlord) killed by the hundredth (or two or three) airstrike (manned or launched or drone). Really made a big difference.
    In Response

    by: Raleigh from: USA
    March 15, 2016 10:12 PM
    Meanbill; Just because you didn't know who he was doesn't mean the rest of us don't.
    In Response

    by: Raleigh from: USA
    March 15, 2016 10:11 PM
    A difference here is that Omar the Chechen was a very visible, well known leader versus some of the others that have been targeted.
    In Response

    by: meanbill from: USA
    March 15, 2016 12:10 PM
    Ignoring the Obama propaganda, what if any difference did the killing of "Omar the Chechen" make in the worldwide war against tens of thousands of other terrorists? .. Omar the Chechen was just another unknown unheard of sub-leader of a terrorist group, until the US said he was somebody important? .. In the whole wide world of tens of thousands of terrorists, what will his death really make, if any? .. Since Obama became president the terrorists have expanded worldwide with a Caliphate and become a real world power now? .. And Obama brags about killing some unknown unheard of ISIL terrorist sub-leader?

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