Agencies (Qasioun) - Russia's Foreign Ministry said there was a "high degree of probability" that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in an airstrike at the end of May.
Russia first claimed on June 16 that the leader of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) was believed to have been killed a strike targeting a meeting of the group's leaders just outside its de facto capital in Raqqa, Syria, but western officials cast doubt on the claim then.
On Thursday, U.S. officials told CBS News they still could not confirm the Russians' claim, "based on what we have." All U.S. government and military officials who spoke to CBS News said they had no reason to believe al-Baghdadi was dead.
The Kremlin's apparent new level of certainty that al-Baghdadi was killed in the strike came from an interview that Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov gave to state news agency RIA Novosti.
One official noted that ISIS was undoubtedly being defeated on the battlefield in both Syria and Iraq, and that other groups and nations were keen to claim some responsibility for that defeat.
Source: CBS NEWS