Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the world’s most wanted terrorist, has been killed in an airstrike, according to a new report by Syrian state television. However, this is not the first time Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been reported dead, which is why the latest claims have been met with major skepticism by various experts, according to Daily Mail.
From the perspective of the Assad regime, claiming Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s death would be a short term propaganda victory.
Several reports have surfaced stating that the jihadist group leader was killed in Raqqa, according to Yahoo! News. Raqqa24 is a Syrian activist who reported that an airstrike in Raqqa killed at least seven civilians on Saturday. Again, there was no mention made of al-Baghdadi. In addition to this, the official media wing of ISIS, known as Amaq, has yet to confirm the news.
Last week, video footage has surfaced that shows airstrikes hitting Raqqa. White phosphorus images fall onto the city, engulfing it in flames.
There is currently a $25 million bounty on Al-Baghdadi’s head. There is also a possibility that the ISIS chief has taken shelter in the desert outside of northern Iraq in the city of Mosul, according to the Daily Mail.
Intelligence agencies are under the impression that Al-Baghdadi escaped from the city while it was being taken over by the Iraqi army. It was assumed that he was trying to get to ISIS’ capital in Raqqa.
News surfaced that the extremist leader had been killed emerged during the time Iraqi forces asserted that his deputy, Ayad al-Jumaili, had been killed in an air strike near Iraq’s border with Syria.
Back in January, it was reported that al-Baghdadi had been ‘critically injured in airstrikes in northern Iraq.
In December, the Pentagon believed that the ISIS chief was alive, despite repeated efforts by the US-led coalition to take out ISIS leader.
Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook told CNN why his team believed al-Baghdadi was still alive.
“We do think Baghdadi is alive and is still leading ISIL and we are obviously doing everything we can to track his movements.”
Cook added, “If we get the opportunity, we certainly would take advantage of any opportunity to deliver him the justice he deserves… We’re doing everything we can. This is something we’re spending a lot of time on.”
The ISIS leader was born in Samarra in Iraq in 1971, according to an official Iraqi government document. The Islamist was presumed to have joined the insurgency that erupted after the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq and has also spent time in an American military prison.
In March, the Pentagon told various media outlets that al-Baghdadi was still alive despite reports that ISIS was crumbling.
United States Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, later said that it was a “matter of time” before the ISIS leader was killed.
“Nearly all of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s deputies are now dead, including the mastermind behind the attacks in Brussels, Paris, and elsewhere. It is only a matter of time before Baghdadi himself meets the same fate.”
The US Department of Defense was contacted for comment on the situation by various news outlets.
Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead, state TV claims https://t.co/MhAtenaYYi— Metro (@MetroUK) June 11, 2017
Meanwhile, a total of thirteen civilians have been killed in coalition air raids in Raqqa over the past 24 hours, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
There was no immediate comment from the US-led coalition against the Islamic State group.
The United States has provided battlefield support to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) who are trying to capture Raqqa from the Islamic State group. Since the launch of the battle, SDF has been able to successfully penetrate two neighborhoods within the city.
[Featured Image by Militant Video/AP Images]