Dreaded ISIS chief al-Baghdadi may have been killed: Russian Federation

Dreaded ISIS chief al-Baghdadi may have been killed: Russian Federation

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov later said that Russia still did not have 100 per cent certainty that al-Baghdadi was killed.

Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai, changed his name to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and declared himself to be the "Caliph" of the Islamic State Group. In an e-mailed statement, Army Col. Ryan Dillon said: "We can not confirm these reports at this time".

That ISIS meeting, the Russians said, was called to explore exit routes for ISIS fighters fleeing the U.S-led coalition assault on Raqqa, which coalition military personnel and US -backed Syrian Democratic Forces have encircled in recent weeks as part of strategically and symbolically important push to liberate the jihadis' de facto capital.

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 United States officials to be the second in command of the group.

The ministry claimed as a result of the strike, Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was eliminated and that the information is now being checked by various channels.

Lavrov added on a cautious note that if al-Baghdadi's death is confirmed, its importance mustn't be overestimated.

In recent years, previous reports of Baghdadi's death have proved inaccurate. The ministry later released aerial photos of what it said was the area hit in the May raid, showing several buildings had been destroyed.

The BBC reported the strike on May 28 may have killed as many as 330 other militants.

"But it is the first time that we're hearing this from the Russian defence ministry, and we also had Syrian state media announce this last week".

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The ISIS leader is considered the world's most wanted man.

Other high-ranking ISIS leaders killed in the airstrike include Abu al-Khadji al-Mysri, Ibrahim al-Naef al-Khadj and Suleiman al-Shauah, according to Russian Federation.

The Daesh leaders had gathered at the command centre, in a southern suburb of Raqqa, to discuss possible routes for the militants' retreat from the city, the statement said.

"If he has been killed, of course it would deal a big blow to the group, but let's just look at the past few weeks - we've had major terror attacks in London, in Baghdad, in Tehran, in Kabul".

Reports about Baghdadi being killed or injured in air raids by coalition forces seem to emerge every few months.

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

In March, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that "nearly all" of Baghdadi's deputies had been killed.

The city is ISIS de-facto capital in Syria.

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