The Russian Defense Ministry said on Friday it is checking on information indicating that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was reportedly killed in a Russia-led airstrike in Syria.
Russian Su-34 aircraft and an Su-35 multirole fighter carried out airstrikes near the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) stronghold of Raqqa in northern Syria on May 28, the ministry said. The strikes targeted a meeting of high-ranking Islamic State chiefs where Al- Baghdadi was reportedly present.
“According to information that is being checked through various channels, IS leader Ibrahim Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was killed as a result of the strike, was also present at the meeting,” the ministry said in a statement.
Moscow has given its American partners information about the place and time of the airstrike, the ministry said.
Although numerous media reports have speculated on al-Baghdadi’s death, neither the Pentagon, nor the Iraqi or Syrian militaries have ever confirmed those claims.