Baghdadi shot down, claims Russia

BaghdadiThe Russian army on Friday said it was seeking to verify whether Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed after its warplanes hit the group’s leaders in a night raid in Syria last month.

In a statement, the army said Sukhoi warplanes carried out a 10-minute night-time strike early on May 28 at a location near Raqqa, where IS leaders had gathered to plan a pullout by militants from the group’s stronghold.

“Senior commanders of the military groups of the so-called IS military council, 30 mid-ranking field commanders and up to 300 militants who provided security for them were eliminated,” it said.

“According to information, which is being checked through various channels, the leader of ISIL Ibrahim Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi was also present at the meeting and was eliminated by the strike,” it said.

The strike took place from 2135 to 2145 GMT on May 27 following the confirmation of the meeting by a drone. Those killed included the emir of Raqa and the IS security chief, the statement said.

Baghdadi has not been seen in public since proclaiming himself “caliph” in the Iraqi city of Mosul three years ago.

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

The Iraqi-born world’s most wanted man has been rumoured wounded or killed a number of times in the past.

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

In March, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared that Baghdadi’s death is imminent as “nearly all” of his deputies are dead and “it is only a matter of time” before the IS chief himself met the same fate.

In September 2015, Russia launched a bombing campaign in Syria in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and its efforts against IS jihadists are separate from the US-led coalition, which supports Syrian rebels.

The Russian military said earlier this month that its planes also struck IS convoys attempting to leave Raqqa from the south toward Palmyra on May 29, killing 80 militants.

On May 31, Moscow also struck IS contingents that had left Raqqa and were located near Palmyra by firing guided missiles from warships deployed off the Syrian coast.

Meanwhile, U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces have been pushing into Raqqa from the north, last Tuesday breaking into the IS bastion for the first time since it became a hub of the group’s self-declared caliphate and the scene of its most gruesome atrocities.

Iraqi forces are also battling IS in the group’s second hub Mosul, where the jihadists are confined to just a few neighbourhoods in the west of the city.

The Raqqa advance caused alarm this week at the United Nations, whose investigators said civilian loss of life was “staggering” due to “excessive” air strikes.

रूस का दावा, 28 मई को मारा गया ISIS सरगना अबू बकर अल-बगदादी

मॉस्को: आतंकी सगंठन इस्लामिक स्टेट (ISIS) के सरगना अबू बकर अल-बगदादी के मारे जाने की खबर है. रूस ने दावा किया है कि उसने बगदादी को मार गिराया है. इसके पहले भी 4 बार बगदादी के मारे जाने की खबरें आ चुकी हैं. खबरों के मुताबिक सीरिया के अंदर रूस द्वारा की गई एक हवाई बमबारी में बगदादी मारा गया.

रूसी रक्षा मंत्रालय ने शुक्रवार को बयान जारी कर कहा कि रूसी लड़ाकू विमानों का यह हमला 28 मई को किया था. सेना को सूत्रों से जानकारी मिली थी कि आईएस नेताओं की बैठक चल रही है और उसमें बगदादी भी शामिल है. इस हमले में IS के टॉप कमांडर्स भी मारे गए हैं.

सीरिया के मीडिया ने भी पिछले हफ्ते दावा किया था कि रक्का में हुए हवाई हमले में बगदादी मारा गया है. अब रुस द्वारा बगदादी के मारा जाने की पुष्टि करना काफी विश्वसनीय स्त्रोत माना जा रहा है. रूसी और सीरियाई फौज कई तरीकों से यह पता लगाने की कोशिश कर रही है कि क्या वह मारा गया.

बता दें कि यह पहली बार नहीं है जब बगदादी की मौत की खबर सामने आई हो. इससे पहले भी बगदादी की मौत की खबरें कई बार सामने आ चुकी हैं. इससे पहले की रिपोर्ट के मुताबिक बगदादी उत्तरी इराक में हवाई हमले में घायल हो गया था. वहीं अमेरिका ने भी एक बार बगदादी को मारने का दावा किया था.

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