An top ISIS commander, thought to have been killed by U.S. forces, has been filmed recently in Iraq, showing that he is very much alive and well.
Despite claims by the U.S. government that they had killed ISIS operative Abu Omar al-Shishani last March, the commander was caught on camera in Iraq’s Fallujah battlefield fighting the Iraqi army.
The red-beard Georgian veteran was reported dead several times; most recently last March when the Pentagon announced that al-Shishani was killed in an airstrike near the town of al-Shaddadi in eastern Syria.
Al-Shishani, originally Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili, served in the Georgian Army during the Russo-Georgian war. After being discharged from the Georgian military, he joined the radical militants fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad in the Syrian war.
Batirashvili led Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar (Army of Emigrants and Supporters) in Northern Aleppo; a group of ultraconservative fighters mostly from Chechnya and the Caucasus.
Later on he joined the ranks of the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and became the Emir of Northern Syria and member of the group’s Shura council.
Between 214 and 2016, Al-Shishani was reported killed and captured 10 times; all of which proved to be untrue.