The militants of so-called Islamic State confirmed the group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead, Al Sumaria TV channel reports citing a source in the Iraqi province of Nineveh.
According to the source, ISIS terrorists issued a brief statement in which they reported the death of their leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as well as the name of the “new Caliph.”
On June 16, the Russian Defense Ministry said al-Baghdadi was likely eliminated as a result of a Russian Aerospace Forces strike on a militant command post in the southern suburb of the city of Raqqa in late May. It noted that it was in the process of confirming the information through various channels.
On June 23, US Operation Inherent Resolve Col. Ryan Dillon said that the US has no conclusive evidence to believe that Baghdadi was killed in Russian airstrikes. However, the US “certainly would welcome the death of al-Baghdadi, but we do not have any definitive proof to lead us believe that this is accurate,” he added.
On June 29, Russian lawmaker Alexei Pushkov told Sputnik that the information of the Russian side the probability of al-Baghdadi’s death is about 100 percent. The lawmaker noted that information received from different sources indicated that there was a power struggle within Daesh for its top position, which serves as signal that al-Baghdadi is dead.
Al-Baghdadi appeared in the media for the first time in 2014 when he declared the creation of a caliphate in the Middle East. Since then, the media have reported several times about the death of the Daesh leader, though the information has never been confirmed.