Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Russian Federation says 180 IS fighters killed in Syria strikes

Russian Federation says 180 IS fighters killed in Syria strikes

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

"According to the information which is now being checked via various channels, also present at the meeting was Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was eliminated as a result of the strike", the ministry said.

The report of Baghdadis death comes in wake of the Islamic State suffering major setbacks in which they have lost wide areas of territory including both their strongholds — Mosul in Iraq and Syrias Raqqa.

Russian Federation supports the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad, which is fighting against Islamic State fighters, one front in a multi-sided civil war.

He said Abu Yasin al-Masri is the same person as Abu al-Haj al-Masri, who the Russians on Friday said they killed near Raqqa in May.

Obama announced in December 2014 that he and Cuban leader Raul Castro were restoring diplomatic ties between their countries, arguing that the policy the USA had pursued for decades had failed to bring about change and that it was time to try a new approach.

But several sources and experts ruled out Moscow's claims and said that Baghdadi was not in Raqqa when the Russian airstrike occured.

The Russian Defence Ministry said on its Facebook page that it was checking information that Baghdadi was killed in the strike, which it launched after receiving intelligence that a meeting of Islamic State leaders was being planned.

Both are still under attack by various groups fighting under the cover of air strikes by the US-led coalition.

Russian Federation said Saturday that airstrikes carried out this month had killed about 180 Islamic State jihadists in Syria, including two field commanders.

Al-Hashimi said the other Isis leader, al-Beljiki, was unlikely to have been in Syria at the time of the attack.

Al-Baghdadi is a nom de guerre for a man identified as Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai.

U.S. authorities offered a $25 million reward for information leading to his capture. "It has been retreating on all fronts, and the death of its leader will accelerate its demise".

The ministry said the strike came as Islamic State leaders gathered to discuss the group's withdrawal from Raqqa, the group's de facto capital.

The Russian military sent drones to monitor the area and then dispatched a group of Su-34 bombers and Su-35 fighter jets to hit the Islamic State gathering.

"A strike of that size and that claim that would have happened that long ago without any knowledge is something that made me curious", the official added.

Head of the Syrian agency for human rights, Rami Abdulrahman expressed doubt over the purported report that Baghdadi may have died in an airstrike.

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