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Published: Sun, June 25, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Russian Federation says nearly 100% likely ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi dead

Russian Federation says nearly 100% likely ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi dead

The head of Russian Defence Ministry, Viktor Ozerov said that he is nearly certain that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed, according to Reuters.

"I've got nothing (to report - TASS)", she said.

"The fact that Islamic State has still not shown him anywhere also adds to our confidence that al-Baghdadi has been killed", Interfax news agency quoted Ozerov as saying. A Russian Su-34 aircraft and a Su-35 multirole reportedly carried out the strikes where Baghdadi and other fighters were attending a meeting.

But armed groups fighting in the region and United States officials say they have no evidence that Baghdadi was killed, and many regional officials have said they are skeptical about the information from Moscow.

The "information is now verified through various channels", Syromolotov told the official Sputnik news agency. They said they were reviewing reports from May 28 and subsequent days for clues, but pointed out that Mr. Baghdadi has not been heard from publicly since November, when the Islamic State released a blistering audio recording in which he urged forces to remain firm in the face of the American-backed Iraqi offensive in Mosul.

Since the American-led bombing campaign against the Islamic State began in August 2014, reports of Mr. Baghdadi's death have repeatedly surfaced.

Russian Federation first claimed on June 16 that the leader of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) was believed to have been killed a strike targeting a meeting of the group's leaders just outside its de facto capital in Raqqa, Syria, but western officials cast doubt on the claim then. It has offered a reward of up to Dollars 25 million for information leading to his capture or death. ISIL is an acronym for the so-called IS group, also known as ISIS and Daesh.

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