IS leader Baghdadi 'may have been killed by Russia'


According to the Russian defence ministry, which published photos of the site targeted before and after, other IS figures killed in the strike include Emir of Raqqa Abu al-Haji al-Masri, Emir Ibrahim al-Naef al-Hajj and IS security chief Suleiman al-Sawah.

On Friday, the Russian Army said that it might have killed Baghdadi during an airstrike on May 28 while the leader of ISIS was attending a meeting of the organization.

"According to information which is being checked through various channels, the leader of ISIL (IS) Ibrahim Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was also present at the meeting and was eliminated by the strike".

"We can not 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.

In addition, a total of 180 IS militants were also killed, and 16 automotive and armored vehicles and tanks, one artillery, four control posts and an ammunition storage depot were destroyed as a result of the strikes, the statement said.

Islamic State fighters are close to defeat in the twin capitals of the group's territory, Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria, after almost three years ruling over millions of people in a wide area in both countries.

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"The Russians probably received inaccurate information in this regard", he said.

ISIS fighters are close to defeat in the twin capitals of the group's territory, Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria.

Russian Su-34 aircraft and an Su-35 multirole fighter launched the airstrikes following drone footage confirmation of the council's meeting location, the statement said.

In 2014, following his group's rapid capture of Mosul and vast swathes of western Iraq, he declared himself from the pulpit of al-Nuri Mosque in the Old City of Mosul the new caliph, leader of the entire Muslim nation, a title abolished in 1924 with the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

Rami Abdulrahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group, was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying he had information that Baghdadi was in another part of Syria at the end of May and was not killed.

Senior White House officials who briefed reporters Thursday on the coming announcement said Obama's overtures had enriched Cuba's military while repression increased on the island. He was a prisoner at Camp Bucca - a United States detention centre hosting several Al Qaeda commanders - before proclaiming himself "caliph" of the IS in June 2014. The group has lost many of its top commanders in US -led airstrikes, including Fadhil Ahmad al-Hayali, said by USA officials to be the second in command.