The Russian Defense Ministry said on Friday that it is working to confirm reports that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a Russia-led airstrike in Syria.
On May 28, Russian Su-34 aircraft and an Su-35 multirole fighter carried out airstrikes in northern Syria near the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa. According to the ministry, the strikes targeted a meeting of high-ranking ISIS leaders that al-Baghdadi reportedly attended.
— Минобороны России (@mod_russia) June 16, 2017
The ministry released a statement which noted that the purpose of the targeted meeting was for ISIS to plan “routes for the exit of militants from Raqqa through the so-called ‘southern corridor.’”
Those reportedly killed in the strike included 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 ISIS head of security Suleiman al-Sawah.
“According to information, which is being checked through various channels, IS leader Ibrahim Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi was also present at the meeting and was killed as a result of the strike,” the statement said.
The ministry added that Moscow has shared intelligence regarding the time and place of the airstrike with its American partners.
During a Friday press conference, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said “I don’t have 100 percent confirmation of the information concerning the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.”
The US-led anti-ISIS coalition echoed Lavorv’s statement.
“We cannot confirm these reports at this time,” Colonel Ryan Dillon, spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTFOIR), said in a statement.
Al-Baghdadi had been named as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) by the US Department of State.
JOIN THE MOVEMENT to SAVE THE NATIONAL ANTHEM
Please join the thousands of DML readers who have purchased a bumper sticker. CLICK HERE.
If you would like to receive Breaking News text alerts on a smartphone or tablet, download the DML APP which is completely FREE and easy to use. Go to the Google Play Store or the IOS App Store and search for DML APP. Be sure to keep the app’s notifications setting on. Another way to receive alerts is to text to 40404 the following message: follow @realdennislynch (be sure to put a space between the word follow and the @ symbol).
To see more stories like this, sign up below for Dennis Michael Lynch’s email newsletter.
Sign up to get breaking news alerts from Dennis Michael Lynch.
Scalise now in critical condition following surgery