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Russia claims to have killed ISIS leader

16 June 2017

The ministry said Friday, June 16, 2017, that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a Russian strike in late May along with other senior group commanders.

There have been a number of previous reports of Baghdadi's death.

Moscow's Defence Ministry reported al-Baghdadi died during a strike alongside other senior militants just outside the group's de facto capital in Syria.

The group's current second-in-command following al-Anbari's death is believed to be Ayad Abdul-Rahman al-Obeidi, also known as Abu Saleh Haifa, a former Saddam Hussein army officer.

This is the first time that Russian Federation has claimed killing al-Baghdadi, despite previous reports of the leader's death circulating.

Dorrian, a colonel said: "We can not confirm".

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The strike occurred from 2135 to 2145 GMT on May 27 following confirmation of the meeting by a drone.

"Under al-Baghdadi, (ISIS) has been responsible for the deaths of thousands of civilians in the Middle East, including the brutal murder of numerous civilian hostages from Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States".

Who is al-Baghdadi and what has made him one of the most wanted men in the world?

Regardless of al-Baghdadi's personal status, Dillon said that the Islamic State group is "a losing organization" that would soon lose its control of its last two major urban strongholds - the Iraqi city of Mosul and the Syrian city of Raqqa.

His group has earned global notoriety for imposing a hard-line form of Islam that has included stonings, beheadings and amputations.

He has been nicknamed "The Ghost" as he has been reportedly spotted around the Syrian-Iraqi border but his whereabouts have never been confirmed.

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Authorities have not yet issued a figure and have said they genuinely don't know how many people might have died. Prime Minister Theresa May has ordered a full public inquiry into the high-rise fire in West London .

"It's only a matter of time before Baghdadi himself meets the same fate", Tillerson said.

If confirmed, it would mark a major military success for Russian Federation, which has conducted a military campaign in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad since September 2015.

In response to the Russian claim that its strike killed an ISIS emir named Ibrahim al-Nayif al-Hajj, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says, "this news is not true", adding that it believes al-Hajj was killed in an attack on May 24 at al-Baroudeh village.

Russian Federation has supported Syrian armed forces, which entered the province of Raqa June 6 and advanced since then in the west and southwest of the province.

The intervention proved crucial in ensuring the survival of Syria's embattled regime and armed forces, who are also backed by Iranian-trained militias from Lebanon and Iraq.

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