A top ISIS commander known by his nickname Omar the Chechen — and recognized by his distinguishable red beard — is believed dead from a U.S. airstrike in Syria, a senior defense official told NBC News Tuesday.
The likely death of Omar al-Shishani near the town of Shaddadi — seized by Syrian rebels from ISIS last month — would be a key gain for coalition forces in taking out one of the biggest names on the U.S.’s terror hit list.
The senior defense official said al-Shishani, born in 1986, is believed to have died along with a dozen other ISIS fighters in the airstrike Friday.
Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook added that al-Shishani — originally named Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili — was a Syrian-based Georgian national who held top ranks within ISIS, including minister of war.
Al-Shishani — who had a $5 million bounty on his head — had been in Shaddadi to help fighters “following a series of strategic defeats” to local forces supported by the United States. The Department of Defense is still assessing the results of this latest operation, Cook added.
Amidst the feverish turmoil of this rather insane primary season, it is good to remember larger global issues that our next commander-in-chief will have to deal with.
I’ll wait a moment while you open a fresh bottle of whiskey.
American voters have all but abandoned issues thus far in this cycle, opting instead to fight entrenched cult of personality wars for their favorite candidates. The seemingly endless debates haven’t been much help either.
Thankfully, our men and women in uniform don’t get distracted by such nonsense and continue performing the business of keeping us safe quite admirably.