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Russian Federation says it may have killed Islamic State group leader

Russian Federation says it may have killed Islamic State group leader”

There were disputed reports on the matter as The New York Times reported the Russian Defence Ministry had claimed Baghdadi had been killed, but other agencies said the matter was still being investigated.

The Russian military said on Friday that it had killed the leader of the so-called Islamic State in an airstrike last month, the Associated Press reported.

The spokesman for the USA -led anti-Islamic State coalition says he can not confirm reports that IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed.

It is not clear who would replace al-Baghdadi if he was killed - the group has lost many of its senior commanders in US-led air strikes, including Fadhil Ahmad al-Hayali, said by U.S. officials to be the second in command of the group.

The foreign ministry says the Headquarters of the Russian force grouping in the Syrian Arab Republic had received information about the meeting of leaders of the terrorist group ISIS in the southern suburb of the city of Raqqa.

Russian forces support the Syrian government which is fighting against Islamic State Group mainly from the west, while a US -led coalition supports Iraqi government forces fighting from the east.

Baghdadi has been rumoured wounded or killed a number of times.

Russia's military said the strike targeted a meeting of senior commanders as they planned travel routes for extremist fighters forced out of the ISIS stronghold in Raqqa.

The statement said the military was trying to verify "by various means" whether Baghdadi had been killed.

Russian Federation in September 2015 launched a bombing campaign in Syria in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and its efforts against IS jihadists are separate from the US-led coalition which supports Syrian rebels.

They said the strike came as the militants gathered to discuss the group's withdrawal from Raqqa. This claim has not been verified as of yet, but it was reported that it occurred at the end of May during one of the air strikes on the city of Raqqa in Syria.

Baghdadi declared the so-called Islamic Caliphate on June 29, 2014, at Nuri Mosque in Mosul, Iraq. The New York Times observes that the Russian statement "offered no explanation for the two-week delay in publicizing the airstrike", though the Russian Defense Ministry stated that it had notified the Department of Defense of the strike ahead of time.

Rami Abdulrahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, cast doubt on the report Baghdadi may have been killed.

Before is alleged death, the terrorists' leader is said to have had a £20 million bounty on him as the world's most wanted terrorists.

After the USA invasion of Iraq in 2003 to topple Saddam Hussein, he joined the insurgency and was captured and imprisoned by US forces.



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