There is a strong possibility that Omar “the Chechen” al Shishani was critically wounded in a US airstrike last week. The airstrike, which took place in North Eastern Syria, has apparently killed the ISIS leader, as is reported by Syrian opposition activists.
US officials have admitted that the information is currently being assessed by the US military and intelligence community as they try to confirm whether the strikes have indeed killed al-Shishani. Pentagon Spokesman Peter Cook also divulged the information that there were 12 other ISIS fighters that are thought to have also died in the strike.
Al-Shishani is one of the most wanted ISIS commanders, and there had been a $5 million reward offered to anyone who could help with his capture. He was also a former member of a Georgian elite military unit, which is further proof of the threat he posed to US security.
“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 defence of its strongholds like Raqqah, Syria, and Mosul, Iraq,” Cook claimed.
It is thought that Al-Shishani was travelling via a convoy when the strike occurred. This convoy was located in the southern al-Hasakah suburbs when it was struck by US air forces. According to activists, it was after this that he was transferred to Raqqa where he is now thought to remain.