Russia`s military says may have killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

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Posted By :Online Desk
Date  16/06/2017
The Russian army on Friday (June 16) said it hit ISIS  leaders in an airstrike in Syria last month and was seeking to verify whether the militant group’s chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been killed.

The United States said it could not immediately confirm Baghdadi`s death. 

In a statement, the Russian army said Sukhoi warplanes carried out a 10-minute night-time strike on May 28 at a location near Raqa, where Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) leaders had gathered to plan a pullout by militants from the group’s stronghold.

“According to information which is being checked through various channels, the leader of ISIL Ibrahim Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi was also present at the meeting and was eliminated by the strike,” it said.

The US-led coalition battling the group said on Friday it could not confirm the report. “We cannot confirm these reports at this time,” said US Army Colonel Ryan S. Dillon, spokesman for the coalition’s Operation Inherent Resolve in Syria and Iraq.

RIA news agency quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying on Friday Russia does not have 100 per cent confirmation that Baghdadi was killed. 

Elusive ISIS supremo Baghdadi has not been seen in public since proclaiming himself “caliph” in the Iraqi city of Mosul three years ago.

His group has earned global notoriety for imposing a hardline form of Islam that has included stonings, beheadings and amputations.

The Iraqi-born world’s most-wanted man has been rumoured wounded or killed a number of times in the past.

He has been nicknamed “The Ghost” as he has been reportedly spotted around the Syrian-Iraqi border but his whereabouts have never been confirmed.

US-backed Arab and Kurdish forces broke into the ISIS bastion of Raqa last Tuesday for the first time since it became a hub of the group’s self-declared caliphate and the scene of its most gruesome atrocities.

 

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