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  • A man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in what would have been his first public appearance.

    A man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in what would have been his first public appearance. | Photo: Reuters

Published 16 June 2017

The Russian military is currently reviewing information that indicates that the leader of the Islamic State Group, al-Baghdadi, might have been killed in a May 28 airstrike.

The Russian military announced Friday that they may have killed the leader of the Islamic State Group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, after an airstrike destroyed a meeting at which the terrorist group leader was believed to be in attendance, although official confirmation has not yet been recieved.

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The Russian military was targeting a meeting of Islamic State Group leaders, after they claimed to have received intelligence that the meeting was being held in Raqqa. The airstrike was carried out on May 28.

“According to information, which is being verified through various channels, Islamic State Group leader Ibrahim Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi was also present at the meeting and was killed as a result of the strike,” a press release said.

Among those also believed to have been killed by the attack were the so-called Empire of Raqqa, the head of the Islamic State Group security force, and the military head of the Raqqa region.

They said that the United States was notified of the airstrike's time and location ahead of time.

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Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai, changed his name to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and declared himself to be the “Caliph” of the Islamic State Group. He has been pronounced dead several times before without confirmation.

Some already are expressing doubt that Baghdadi would have put himself in such a vulnerable situation, surrounded by Russian, Syrian, and U.S. forces. Rami Abdulrahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said that according to his information, Baghdadi was located in another part of Syria at the end of May, Reuters reported.

Russian forces support the Syrian government which is fighting against Islamic State Group mainly from the west, while a U.S.-led coalition supports Iraqi government forces fighting from the east.

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