Russia Claims They May Have Killed ISIS Leader Al-Baghdadi

Russia’s Defense Ministry is investigating whether they have killed possibly the world’s most wanted man, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, among 330 other fighters in an airstrike on May 28. Al-Baghdadi’s death has yet to be verified and this also isn’t the first time the claim of his demise has been made.

The claim comes after the Ministry said that their airstrike targeted an IS military council meeting in the group’s de-facto capital of Raqqa in northern Syria. The Russian state-funded Sputnik news agency first made the claim of the possibility of al-Baghdadi’s death when they published a statement by Russia’s defense ministry that said he may have been present when the airstrike took out 30 IS commanders and up to 300 soldiers at the Raqqa meeting. The leaders at the meeting were discussing their exit through the “Southern Corridor,” the location of the meeting being confirmed by drone footage according to the Ministry

“According to information that is checked through various channels, IS leader Ibrahim Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was killed as a result of the strike, was also present at the meeting,” the statement claims, however, al-Baghdadi’s presence at the meeting is still being investigated.

Al-Baghdadi has kept a low profile and his whereabouts have been unknown for quite some time, however, he was believed to have been in Mosul, Iraq, before a US-led coalition began an effort to reclaim the city in October 2016. Since then the general consensus is that he had been hiding out in the desert. His last major public appearance was back in 2014 when he gave a sermon at a mosque in Mosul after ISIS took control of the city. During the sermon, which was filmed and watched around the world, he declared himself “the leader of his envisages Islamic caliphate.”

If the Russians can confirm that they have killed al-Baghdadi, then that will make the whole investigation into Trump’s Russian ties a little more interesting, as U.S. authorities had previously offered a $25 million reward for information that led to his capture.

Featured image via screenshot