Baku. 15 March. REPORT.AZ/ Two U.S. officials told CNN that the Obama administration has confirmed that ISIS senior operative Omar al-Shishani is dead.
Report informs citing the foreign media, the officials said he was injured in a U.S. airstrike last week and then died subsequently, though they wouldn't say how they know he is dead.
The initial U.S. assessment was that he was "likely killed" in the strike, but further assessments led them to understand he had been injured and only later died.
He was killed along with 12 additional ISIS fighters in a wave of strikes by drones and manned aircraft.
Since then, CNN has learned that Shishani was at a "shura," or meeting with other officials, at the time of the strike. U.S. officials had emphasized at the time it was publicly announced that they were not certain of his death and were assessing whether the strike killed him.
One reason the U.S. initially thought Shishani had been killed is that intercepts of his communications had gone silent, CNN learned.
But this situation was a bit unusual, coming together quicker than most. The strike was quickly called in, one official said, when there was sudden intelligence that Shishani was at the meeting. The aircraft and drones had already been patrolling in the skies.
U.S. officials said Shishani had traveled to the al-Shaddadi area from ISIS' unofficial capital of Raqqa to meet with troops in the region who had been in heavy combat and suffered losses.
The Pentagon has offered different locations for precisely where the strike happened, in one instance saying it was near al-Shaddadi but in a press release indicating it happened near al-Hawl several miles away.
Shishani has had a reputation as one of ISIS' most capable commanders. There has been a $5 million reward on his head from the U.S. State Department. Also known as Omar "the Chechen" al-Shishani, he was born Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili and once served in an elite Georgian military unit.