The Russian Defense Ministry said on Friday it is checking on information indicating that ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was reportedly killed in a Russia-led airstrike in Syria.
Russian Su-34 aircraft and an Su-35 multirole fighter carried out airstrikes near the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa in northern Syria on May 28, the ministry said. The strikes targeted a meeting of high-ranking ISIS chiefs where Al- Baghdadi was reportedly present.
The meeting was gathered to plan “routes for the exit of terrorists from Raqqa through the so-called ‘southern corridor’,” the statement read.
“According to information that is being checked through various channels, ISIS leader Ibrahim Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was killed as a result of the strike, was also present at the meeting,” the ministry said in a statement.
Among those who were killed in the strike were Emir of Raqqa Abu al-Haji al-Masri, Emir Ibrahim al-Naef al-Hajj, “who controlled the district from the city of Raqqa to the settlement of es-Sohne” and IS head of security Suleiman al-Sawah,” the ministry added.
Moscow has given its American partners information about the place and time of the airstrike, the ministry said.
Although numerous media reports have speculated on al-Baghdadi’s death, neither the Pentagon, nor the Iraqi or Syrian militaries have ever confirmed those claims.
The latest report, which came in early June, claimed that the notorious ISIS terrorist had been killed in an airstrike in Raqqa. No official confirmation followed, however.
Born Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim al-Badri, al-Baghdadi made his first public appearance back in the summer of 2014, when ISIS began capturing territory in Iraq and later in Syria.
The terrorist group has repeatedly released messages allegedly sent by Al-Baghdadi calling for the establishment of a world Caliphate.
The US Department of State has designated al-Baghdadi as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT).