In a major development, Russia’s defence ministry is probing whether one of its air strikes in Syria killed the leader of the Islamic State militant group (IS), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The ministry said an air strike might have killed Baghdadi on 28 May. However, the reports are yet to be confirmed.
The air strike by Russia has attacked a gathering of the IS military council in its de-facto capital of Raqqa in northern Syria. Notably, there had been several reports of Baghdadi’s death even earlier.
Baghdadi’s whereabouts have been unknown for some time now. He was said to be in Mosul in Iraq before a US-led alliance started an effort to repossess the metropolis in late 2016.