The sheer number of false claims of having killed top ISIS commanders had US officials hedging yesterday with their assertion that they “likely” killed top ISIS commander Abu Omar al-Shishani in an airstrike in Shahdadi.
They were right to avoid claims of certainty, it seems, as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights today said their intelligence on the matter suggests Shishani was wounded in the US strike, but survived and is recovering in a Raqqa hospital.
Shishani, also known as Omar the Chechen, was described by US officials as “de facto minister of war” and ISIS’ “defense secretary,” though his actual role isn’t totally clear beyond his being a high-profile aide to ISIS Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
US officials had expressed hope that the Soviet-born Shishani’s death would mean a significant blow to ISIS’ recruiting ability in the Caucasus region, though whether this would”ve been the case even if he had been slain is unclear.
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