IRAQ

ISIS “Minister Of War” Reportedly Killed In Iraq

Abu Omar al-Shishani, one of America's most wanted jihadists, was killed in combat in northern Iraq, an ISIS-linked news agency announced

IRAQ
"Omar the Chechen" is reportedly dead — Photo Illustration: Vocativ
Jul 13, 2016 at 5:25 PM ET

One of the Islamic State’s most wanted military commanders was killed during combat in northern Iraq, a news agency linked to the terror group announced on Wednesday.

Abu Omar al-Shishani—ISIS’s so-called “minister of war”—died while fighting in Shirqat, a city south of Mosul, according to Amaq, a media outfit that regularly publishes official news on behalf of ISIS. The announcement comes several months after the Pentagon said the Chechen-born jihadist was likely killed in a U.S.-led airstrike in Syria, a claim that Amaq denied at the time.

Vocativ could not immediately verify the new claims of Shishani’s death.

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Shishani, a red-bearded and popular militant also known as Omar the Chechen, was regarded as a close military adviser to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The U.S. State Department had previously placed a $5 million bounty on the head on Shishani, who ranked among America’s five most wanted jihadists.

If confirmed, Shishani’s death comes less than three weeks after the killings of two other high-ranking ISIS fighters. Basim Muhammad Ahmad Sultan al-Bajari, ISIS’ deputy minister of war, and Hatim Talib al-Hamduni, a military commander for the terror group in Mosul, were killed in a June 25 airstrike, according to U.S. officials.

Iraqi government forces, who are backed by U.S. warplanes and special forces, are currently preparing a military campaign to recapture Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, from ISIS, which the terror group seized in 2014. The Pentagon announced on Monday that President Obama will send another 560 American troops to Iraq to help with the offensive.