Russian Diplomat: Probable that IS leader killed in May

Posted June 23, 2017

The Russian Defense Minister said on June 16 that the ISIS leader might have been killed during an ISIS military council meeting by a Russian airstrike on May 28 south of the militant group's stronghold of Raqqa in Syria.

Russia said today it has no information on the fate of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the chief of the Islamic State terror group, almost a week after the Russian military said it may have killed him in an airstrike.

However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said he could not give a solid proof that Baghdadi was eliminated.

Last Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that Baghdadi had been presumably killed by the airstrike on Raqqa's southern suburbs carried out by Russian warplanes.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday it was nearly certain that the Islamic State leader died in Syria two month ago. Washington DC said it could not corroborate the death and Western and Iraqi officials have been sceptical.

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The strike occurred from 2135 to 2245 GMT on May 27 following confirmation of the meeting by a drone.

"According to the information which is now being checked via various channels, also present at the meeting was ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was eliminated as a result of the strike", the ministry said.