FILE – Abu Omar al-Shishani, seen in an image from video posted on social media June 28, 2014, stands among a group of fighters as Islamic State declares elimination of border between Iraq and Syria
A key Islamic State terror group commander known for his brutally effective tactics and for surviving numerous attempts to kill him has died in battle, according to an IS-linked media organization.
The Aamaq News Agency said Wednesday that Abu Omar al-Shishani, also known as “Omar the Chechen,” was killed in the town of Shirqat while trying to “halt the military campaign” against the self-declared caliphate’s Iraqi capital of Mosul.
U.S. and coalition forces had targeted Shishani numerous times, including in an airstrike on March 4 in al-Shaddadi, Syria.
“It’s our assessment that that was a successful strike and that he was killed in that strike,” Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said at the time.
Until now, IS repeatedly denied claims Shishani had been killed.
Pentagon officials said they were aware of the Aamaq report of Shishani’s death in Shirqat, but that they could neither confirm nor deny it.