Middle East Russian airstrike may kill IS leader Baghdadi in Syria: Defense Ministry

Russian airstrike may kill IS leader Baghdadi in Syria: Defense Ministry
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made his first appearance in a video when he gave a sermon in Mosul in July 2014. (Photo: Al-Furqaan Media)

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – In a statement on Friday, Russian Ministry of Defense said that the Caliph of the Islamic State (IS) Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may have been killed in one of their air strikes in the Syrian city of Raqqa.

The air strike was conducted after the Russian military in Syria received intelligence about the meeting planned to be held by the IS leaders, Russian Defense Ministry posted a statement on the Facebook page.

“On May 28, after drones were used to confirm the information on the place and time of the meeting of IS leaders, between 00:35 and 00:45, Russian air forces launched a strike on the command point where the leaders were located,” read the statement.

“According to the information which is now being checked via various channels, also present at the meeting was Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was eliminated as a result of the strike,” the Ministry added.

The US-led coalition stated that they cannot confirm Russia's claim.

According to the Russian statement, the strike thought to have killed some IS senior leaders, about 30 field commanders, and almost 300 personal guards.

The statement also mentioned that the IS leaders gathered at the command center in southern Raqqa to discuss a possible route for militants to abandon the city.

Washington administration was informed in advance regarding the location and time of the strike, said Russian military.

The jihadist group continues to shrink in both Syria’s Raqqa and Iraq's Mosul.

Iraqi forces have recently declared the end of IS in Mosul is close, claiming the full liberation of Mosul in near future.

Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) backed by the US has already liberated the eat and west of Raqqa, the self-proclaimed capital of IS.


Editing by Ava Homa