Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi might have also been killed in the strike, according to reports
Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been "almost dead" for a very long time. Is he finally dead now?
Maybe. The Russian Ministry of Defense says that an airstrike conducted at the end of May near Raqqa, Syria, wiped out a "military council of ISIS", which included 30 senior field commanders and up to 300 militants.
That in itself seems newsworthy to us.
What about al-Baghdadi? Was he present at this terrorist powwow?
The strike was conducted on May 28, and the Ministry of Defense is still checking through "various channels" if al-Baghdadi was killed. So we're a bit skeptical.
We don't want to sound flippant, but whether he's dead or alive doesn't seem extremely important at the moment.
Al-Baghdadi has a sort of mythical terror-unicorn quality to him—and reports about his whereabouts are reminiscent of Elvis sightings.
It's clear that there was an organized effort by ISIS senior leadership in late May/early June to move fighters out of Raqqa and reinforce areas around Palmyra. What's also clear is that Russia dropped many large bombs on this plan.
Recall that in early June, approximately 80 ISIS militants were "intercepted" by the Russian Air Force as they attempted to flee Raqqa.
Sure, saying you killed the "leader of ISIS" is a feather in your cap. But we'll take 300 dead ISIS psychos over 1 alleged Salafist Elvis sighting any day.
Here's the official statement from the Russian Ministry of Defense. We'll of course keep you posted if there are any new developments:
By the way, where was the US-led "anti-terror" coalition? Too busy bombing empty desert?
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