A SECOND Australian man was killed alongside the nation’s most senior Islamic State figure, Mohammad Ali Baryalei, during coalition airstrikes on the Syrian border town of Kobane, another foreign fighter has claimed.
Just days after Baryalei was reported killed, another Australian fighter claimed he could confirm the death as well as that of a fellow countryman he named as Abu Noor al-Kurdi. Authorities are working to confirm the claims.
It appears likely the second man appeared in an Islamic State propaganda video in June under the name “Abu Nour al-Iraqi”.
Last night, a spokeswoman for Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said the government was attempting to verify the claims.
The Australian Federal Police declined to comment directly.
Government sources have treated reports of Baryalei’s death cautiously because of the lack of “chatter” that usually follows the death of such a senior fighter.
As many as nine Australians reportedly have been killed since the US-led coalition began airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria. An Australian fighter known as Abu Talib, based in de facto IS capital Raqqa, “confirmed” Baryalei’s death and that of Abu Noor on social media at the weekend. He described Baryalei as a “close” friend and repeated claims reported in The Australian last week that he died in Kobane.