The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told Reuters on Tuesday that it had “confirmed information” that the supreme leader of the Islamic State (ISIS) radical group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has been killed.
Russia’s defense ministry said it may have killed Baghdadi when one of its airstrikes hit a gathering of ISIS commanders on the outskirts of the Syrian city of Raqqa. The strike is believed to have killed several other senior leaders of the group, as well as around 30 field commanders and up to 300 of their personal guards
The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement in June that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed by an airstrike carried out by the Russian Air Force in Syria in late May.
However, the US-led anti-ISIS coalition said it could not corroborate the death of Baghdadi.
Also, Western and regional officials have been skeptical about the recent reports on the death of the ISIS chief.
This comes as ISIS continues its desperate efforts to defend shrinking territory in Syria and Iraq.
Baghdadi’s death, which has been frequently reported since he declared a caliphate from a mosque in the Iraqi city of Mosul in 2014, is one of the biggest blows yet to the extremist group.
Born Ibrahim al-Samarrai, Baghdadi is a 46-year-old Iraqi who broke away from al Qaeda in 2013, two years after the capture and killing of the group’s leader Osama bin Laden.
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