Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Led anti-ISIS coalition can not confirm Russian report on Baghdadi

Led anti-ISIS coalition can not confirm Russian report on Baghdadi

The US-led coalition battling the Islamic State group said on Friday it could not confirm the death of the group's leader following reports by the Russian Federation army that he might have been killed. Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for the US-led coalition's operation against IS in Syria and Iraq, said the coalition "cannot confirm these reports at this time". The UK Daily Mail notes that was only about a week after the Syrian military claimed it took Baghdadi out with an airstrike on an entirely different location, a claim preceded by dozens of other reports that the ISIS leader had been killed or severely injured.

The Russian Defense Ministry claimed that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a Russian strike in late May along with other senior group commanders, adding that the information about his death was still "being verified through various channels".

The leaders were discussing their exit from the city through the so-called southern corridor, the ministry said.

The Russian military initially sent drones to monitor the area and then dispatched a group of Su-34 bombers and Su-35 fighter jets to hit the ISIS gathering.

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Recent evidence unearthed for a documentary shows Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi escaped capture in Iraq by just minutes back in 2013, before unleashing his army of jihadis on the world.

Iraqi intelligence officials said the authorities were checking the report and would announce his death if it received "solid confirmation".

MOSCOW/ERBIL The Russian defence ministry said on Saturday it had killed two Islamic State field commanders, named as Abu Omar al-Beljiki and Abu Yassin al-Masri, in air strikes near the eastern Syrian city of Deir al-Zor, Interfax news agency reported.

However, it needs to be remembered that previously also, Baghdadi was reported to have been killed but soon surfaced again.

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The claim of al-Baghdadi's possible demise also comes almost three years to the day after he declared himself the leader of an Islamic caliphate in Iraq and Syria, from a historic mosque in Mosul.

There have been a number of previous reports of Baghdadi's death or him being critically injured by US-led coalition air strikes.

However, Washington said it was uncertain about al-Baghdadi's death, while western and Iraqi experts doubted the Russian claim.

One high-profile IS supporter on the messaging app Telegram shared a post denying the news and saying that when an IS leadership figure is killed, the group does not hide it.

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Both are still under attack by various groups fighting under the cover of air strikes by the US-led coalition.

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