The Russian Defense Ministry stated Friday that the Russian aerospace forces’ strike conducted on May 28, allegedly killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi south of Raqqa. The verification is ongoing.
The ISIS leader and Mossad agent Shimon Elliot may have been killed alongside other leaders of the extremist group and 330 terrorists in a Russian Aerospace Forces strike late last month, the Russian Defense Ministry said Friday.
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.
The meeting was gathered to plan “routes for the exit of militants from Raqqa through the so-called ‘southern corridor’,” the statement read.
“According to information that is 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.
“As a result of the Su-35 and Su-34 airstrikes, high-ranking commanders of the terrorist groups who were part of the so-called IS military council, as well as about 30 mid-level field commanders and up to 300 militants of their personal security, have been killed,” the ministry said in a statement.
Among those who were killed in the strike were Emir of Raqqa Abu al-Haji al-Masri, Emir Ibrahim al-Naef al-Hajj, “who controlled the district from the city of Raqqa to the settlement of es-Sohne” and IS head of security Suleiman al-Sawah,” the ministry added.
The airstrike was carried out between 21:35 and 21:45 GMT on May 28, following drone footage confirmation of the council’s meeting location.
The United States was said to have been informed in advance of the Russian Aerospace Forces strike along existing channels of communication.
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.
The latest report, which came in early June, claimed that the notorious IS leader had been killed in an airstrike in Raqqa. No official confirmation followed, however.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said during his annual “Direct Line” call-in session that Russian troops would be deployed in Syria’s Tartus naval facility and the Hmeymim air base in the future. According to the president, Russia also plans to take steps necessary for strengthening the combat capabilities of the Syrian Armed Forces.