US officials: Islamic State’s de facto ‘minister of war’ possibly killed

WASHINGTON – A red-bearded Islamic State commander described by American officials as the group’s de facto minister of war may have been killed in an air strike in Syria on Friday by the US-led coalition, several US officials said on Tuesday.

Abu Omar al-Shishani, also known as Omar the Chechen, ranked among the most wanted militants under a US reward program that offered up to $5 million for information to help remove him from the battlefield. He may have been killed during a coalition strike on March 4 near the town of al-Shadadi, which US-backed forces from the Syrian Arab Coalition captured from the Islamic State last month. Still, the United States still appeared unwilling to declare Shishani dead.



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