Russian Military Believes It May Have Killed ISIS Leader

Leah Barkoukis
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Posted: Jun 16, 2017 9:24 AM
Russian Military Believes It May Have Killed ISIS Leader

Russian military believes Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, may have been killed in an airstrike.

The Defense Ministry said in a statement the Russian Air Force struck a group of ISIS leaders outside Raqqa, Syria on May 28.

"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 defense ministry says.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said he could not confirm Baghdadi was killed, however.

"So far, I have no 100 percent confirmation of this information," he said, according to state-run Tass media.

The U.S. also could not confirm the report.

Russia's military said the strike targeted a meeting of senior commanders as they planned travel routes for extremist fighters forced out of the ISIS stronghold in Raqqa. The attack began after midnight and lasted around 10 minutes, the military says. […]

The Russian military says the strike, carried out by two jets, killed up to 300 fighters and 30 field commanders, along with the ISIS head of security and two emirs who control Raqqa and a neighboring area.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the report “is not true,” believing that Baghdadi was in a different part of Syria during the airstrike.