The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told Reuters on Tuesday that it had “confirmed information” that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed.
Russia’s defense ministry said it may have killed Baghdadi when one of its air strikes hit a gathering of ISIS commanders on the outskirts of the Syrian city of Raqqa, but Washington said it could not corroborate the death and Western and Iraqi officials have been skeptical.
Reuters could not independently verify Baghdadi’s death.
Baghdadi’s death, which has been frequently reported since he declared a caliphate from a mosque in the Iraqi city of Mosul in 2014, is one of the biggest blows yet to the radical group, which is trying to defend shrinking territory in Syria and Iraq.
Syrian rights body has ‘confirmed information’ ISIS chief Baghdadi is dead