Friday, 16 June 2017

Russia claims IS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi killed in airstrike

The Russian military claims it has killed the leader of the Islamic State group in an airstrike.
Abu Bakr al Baghdadi was killed on 28 May along with other senior group commanders, according to the Russian defence ministry.

The strike targeted an IS meeting held in the southern suburbs of Raqqa as IS leaders gathered to discuss the group's withdrawal from their de facto capital, the military said.

More than 300 fighters were killed by the air raids, including 30 mid-level militant leaders, it added.

The IS leader has been reported dead before.

Rami Abdulrahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said that they understood Baghdadi was in a different part of Syria at the time of the Raqqa gathering.

Russian drones had been monitoring the area in expectation of IS leaders gathering to plan their exit to the south of Raqqa.

When the gathering was confirmed, a group of Su-34 bombers and Su-35 fighter jets were sent to strike it.

"According to the information that is being verified through various channels, IS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi also attended the meeting and was killed in the airstrike," the Russian military said.

It added that it had warned the US of the strike in advance.
The US said that it could not confirm al Baghdadi's death.

"We cannot confirm these reports at this time," said US Army Colonel Ryan S Dillon, spokesman for the coalition's Operation Inherent Resolve.

SKY     News.