Russia’s Protection Ministry says it’s investigating reviews that ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in one in every of its airstrikes in Syria final month.
The airstrike on Might 28 was carried out on the outskirts of the militant group’s de facto capital Raqqa, on a command submit the place ISIS leaders have been assembly, in line with a ministry assertion.
“Based on info that’s being verified by means of numerous channels, the chief of ISIS … Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was additionally current on the assembly and was killed because of the strike,” the ministry stated.
US protection officers stated they have been unable to verify the stories. Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for the US-led coalition’s operation towards ISIS in Syria and Iraq, stated the coalition “can’t affirm these stories presently.”
There have been a number of studies of Baghdadi’s demise up to now which have turned out to be false.
The Russian assertion stated that the strike focused ISIS leaders as they met to debate their exit from the town via the so-referred to as southern hall. It additionally claimed that about 30 mid-degree subject commanders and as much as 300 militants appearing as bodyguards have been additionally current.
The airstrike was carried out following drone footage affirmation of the assembly location, the assertion stated.
CNN Senior Worldwide Correspondent Clarissa Ward warned that the small print offered by the Russians have been inconsistent with the standard conduct of ISIS leaders.
“They don’t meet in huge groupings like that due to drone strikes, as a result of they’re continuously being bombarded,” she stated.
“If he has been killed, in fact it might deal an enormous blow to the group, however let’s simply take a look at the previous few weeks — we have had main terror assaults in London, in Baghdad, in Tehran, in Kabul. So clearly it’s nonetheless enterprise as ordinary for ISIS.”
CNN army analyst Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling additionally warned towards giving an excessive amount of weight to Russia’s sources.
“I am not going to take this too critically as a result of there have been no less than 5 reported killings of al-Baghdadi during the last three years,” he stated.
“I would not consider the Russian sources based mostly on something they’re listening to out of Syria.”
Al-Baghdadi: An elusive and brutal chief
Officers had lengthy described the ISIS chief as enemy No. 1 within the battle towards ISIS, and hypothesis had swirled over his whereabouts.
Baghdadi has stored a low profile, talking out in occasional movies and audio messages.
He gave a sermon at a mosque within the Iraqi metropolis of Mosul in 2014, in…