ISIS Chief Baghdadi May Have Died, Claims Russian Military
MOSCOW: Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Thursday it was reviewing the news that a Russian air strike near the Syrian city of Raqqa could have killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in late May.
The air strike was launched after Russian forces in Syria have received reports that a meeting of ISIS leaders was planned, the ministry said in a statement on its Facebook page.
“On May 28, after the drones were used to confirm information about the place and time of the meeting of ISIS leaders, between twelve and thirty-five ET in the 1930s, Russian air forces They launched a strike at the command post where the leaders were, “the statement said.
“According to the information currently verified through various channels, also present at the meeting, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been eliminated as a result of the strike,” the ministry said.
The US-led coalition against ISIS said it could not confirm the Russian report that Baghdadi might have died.
The strike killed several leaders of the group, and about 30 field commanders and up to 300 of their guards, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
ISIS leaders gathered at the command center in a suburb south of Raqqa to discuss possible forms of city retirement activists, according to the statement.
The United States were informed about the time and place of the strike, said the Russian army.
ISIS fighters are close to defeat in the two thousand capitals of the group’s territory, Mosul, in Iraq and in Syria Raqqa.
Russian forces support the Syrian government that are fighting ISIS primarily from the west, while a US-led coalition supports Iraqi government forces fighting ISIS.
The latest public video shows Baghdadi dressed in clerical clothes declaring his clandestine caliphate from the pulpit of the medieval mosque Grand Nuri al-Mosul in 2014.
Born Ibrahim al-Samarrai, Iraqi Baghdadi is a 46-year-old who quit Al Qaeda in 2013, two years after the capture and death of Oussama bin Laden’s group chief.
Rami Abdulrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, questioned the report that Baghdadi might have died.
He said that according to his information, Baghdadi was in another part of Syria at the end of May.
“The information is that at the end of last month, Baghdadi was in Deir al-Zor, in the region between Deir al-Zor and Iraq in Syrian territory,” he said by telephone.
As for what Baghdadi would have done in this place, he told them: “Is it reasonable that Baghdadi stands between the sword and the wall in the coalition (United States) and Russia?”