The likelihood that the leader of the militant Islamic State (IS), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has been killed is “close to 100 per cent”, Interfax news agency quoted Viktor Ozerov, the head of the defence committee in the Russian upper house of parliament, as saying on Friday.
“I think this information is close to 100pc,” the agency quoted Ozerov as saying. “The fact that Islamic State has still not shown him anywhere also adds to our confidence that al-Baghdadi has been killed.”
Earlier, the Russian army had said it ‘may have killed’ Baghdadi in a 10-minute strike early on May 28 at a location near Raqqa, where IS leaders had gathered to plan a pullout by militants from the group’s stronghold.
“Senior commanders of the military groups of the so-called IS 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 IS Ibrahim Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi was also present at the meeting and was eliminated by the strike,” it said.