MOSCOW – The Russian Defense Ministry claimed on Friday that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi might have been killed in a Russia-led airstrike in Syria, international media reported.
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According to statement issued by defence ministry, Russian Su-34 aircraft and an Su-35 multirole fighter, following information regarding high-level meeting of ISIL and presence of Al-Baghdadi, launched strikes near Raqqa, a stronghold area of IS, on May 28.
The statement added, “According to information which is verified through various channels, the meeting was also attended by the leader of ISIS, Ibrahim Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was also killed during the airstrike”.
The high-ranking meeting was called to make a strategy for exit of militants from Raqqa through the so-called southern corridor, it claimed.
The ministry further said that senior commanders of terrorist group including Amir of Raqqa Abu al-Haji al-Masri, Emir Ibrahim al-Naef al-Hajj, who controlled the district from the city of Raqqa to the settlement of es-Sohne and the head of security os ISIs Suleiman al-Sawah were killed during the strike.
On the other hand, neither the Pentagon, nor the Iraqi or Syrian armies have ever confirmed the killing of IS leader.
In 2014, Al-Baghdadi made his first public appearance, when IS started occupying territory in Iraq and later in Syria.
The US Department of State has declared al-Baghdadi a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT).