Undated photo of Tarkhan Batirashvili, Abu Omar Shishani

Undated photo of Tarkhan Batirashvili, Abu Omar Shishani

TBILISI, DFWatch–Pentagon officials confirm the death of the Islamic State’s prominent field commander Tarkhan Batirashvili (Omar al-Shishani), CNN reported.

On 9 March, major Western news outlets reported that Mr Batirashvili, 30, was ‘likely killed’ in an American airstrike near the town of ash-Shaddadi in north-eastern Syria on 4 March.

However, he was later reported by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights to be located in the unofficial capital of the Islamic State, ar-Raqqa, in the state of being ‘clinically dead’.

The American officials CNN talked to explain that one of the reasons they initially thought Batirashvili was dead was because ‘intercepts of his communications had gone silent’.

They explain that the strike was called in unusually quickly after Pentagon received sudden intelligence about a shura (‘council of leaders’), which Batirashvili was taking part in. There had already been aircraft and drones in the area at the time of the strike.

It was originally reported that the strike happened near the town of ash-Shaddadi, al-Hasakah Governorate, in north-eastern Syria. A press release specified that the exact location was the town of al-Hawl several kilometers away.