Syria troops advance in Raqa towards Deir Ezzor: monitor

Islamic State group chief Abu Bakr al Baghdadi addresses Muslim worshippers in the Iraqi city of Mosul in July 2014

Russia's defense ministry says Al-Baghdadi was attending a meeting with Isis leaders when the airstrike happened.

The ministry said that among other militant leaders killed in the raid were Islamic State leaders Abu al-Khadji al-Mysri, Ibrahim al-Naef al-Khadj and Suleiman al-Shauah.

"We can not confirm", coalition spokesman Colonel John Dorrian told Reuters.

The spokesman for the US -led, anti-Islamic State coalition said in a statement Friday that he could not confirm the Russian claim.

The airstrike on May 28 was carried out on the outskirts of the militant group's de facto capital Raqqa, on a command post where ISIS leaders were meeting, according to a ministry statement.

Anti-government rebels have sworn to work alongside United States forces to drive the Syrian Government from Deir al-Zor, which is now the largest stronghold of the Islamic State group.

"I'm not going to take this too seriously because there have been at least five reported killings of al-Baghdadi over the last three years", he said.

If true, then it would mark a major military success for Russian Federation, which has been conducting a military campaign in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since September 2015.


A large number of ISIS terrorists, including non-Syrians, were killed and their military hardware were damaged in the attack.

A spokesman for the US -led coalition fighting the Islamic State said he would welcome such news but urged caution.

The IRGC further said "the punitive and retaliatory move has conveyed a clear message to Takfiri terrorists and their regional and trans-regional sponsors" that the repetition of any evil move against the Iranian nation would ignite the IRGC's retaliatory act against criminal perpetrators.

Other state media reported that more than 300 "terrorists" were killed in the strike.

Su-35 and Su-34 jets were used in the strike, which was preceded by drone reconnaissance flights, the ministry said.

It added that Washington was informed in advance about the place and time of the strike near the jihadists' Syria stronghold, which is now under assault by US-backed fighters.

Rami Abdulrahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group, was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying he had information that Baghdadi was in another part of Syria at the end of May and was not killed.

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