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Russian army says may have killed ISIS chief

Russian army says may have killed ISIS chief”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia wasn't certain that al-Baghdadi had been killed, RIA Novosti reported.

There have previously been unconfirmed reports, including in March 2015 and in June 2016, that al-Baghdadi was seriously wounded in airstrikes carried out by USA -led coalition forces.

We review key developments in Syria, including reports that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a Russian air raid on Raqqa, pro-government forces advancing near Tabqa airbase and Russian concern over USA missile deployments in southern Syria.

"As a result of the Su-35 and Su-34 air strikes, high-ranking commanders of the terrorist group that were part of the so-called military council of IGIL, as well as about 30 middle-level field commanders and up to 300 militants of their personal protection, were killed".

In March 2017, US defense officials said he left Mosul before Iraqi forces began their offensive to remove the group from Iraq's second-largest city.

Baghdadi has been reported killed in the past several times, but those reports turned out to be inaccurate.

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.

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The strike occurred between 9.35pm to 9.45pm GMT on May 27 following confirmation of the meeting by a drone. It can however be recalled that Syrian opposition activists reported airstrikes on May 28 south of Raqqa that killed more than a dozen people.

Born Ibrahim al-Samarrai, Baghdadi, 46, broke away from al-Qaeda in 2013, two years after the capture and killing of the group's leader, Osama bin Laden.

The ministry said the IS leaders were gathered to discuss the group's withdrawal from Raqqa, the group's de facto capital.

His only public appearance since claiming the creation of an IS caliphate was in a video in June 2014, in which he was seen delivering a sermon in Mosul after IS took control of the city. During the time of US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, he was reportedly a cleric in a mosque in Samarra.

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

Within hours, the United States military said it could not immediately confirm Baghdadi's death. Those killed included the emir of Raqa and the IS security chief, the statement said.



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