Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi
MOSCOW: The Russian army on Friday said it hit Daesh leaders in an airstrike in Syria last month and was seeking to verify whether Daesh chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been killed.
In a statement, the army said Sukhoi warplanes carried out a 10-minute night-time strike early on May 28 at a location near Raqa, where Daesh leaders had gathered to plan a pullout by militants from the group’s stronghold.
“Senior commanders of the military groups of the so-called Daesh military council, 30 mid-ranking field commanders and up to 300 militants who provided security for them were eliminated,” it said.
“According to information which is being checked through various channels, the leader of Daesh Ibrahim Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi was also present at the meeting and was eliminated by the strike,” it said.
The strike occurred from 2135 to 2145 GMT on May 27 following confirmation of the meeting by a drone. Those killed included the emir of Raqa and the Daesh security chief, the statement said.
US-led coalition ‘cannot confirm’ death
The US-led coalition battling the Daesh group said Friday it could not confirm the death of the terrorist leader following reports by the Russia army that he might have been killed.
“We cannot confirm these reports at this time,” said US Army Colonel Ryan S. Dillon, spokesman for the coalition’s Operation Inherent Resolve.