Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a man some consider the ISIS equivalent to Osama bin Laden, has been confirmed dead by a human rights organization.
The group, known as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), has been described by CBS News as having “a solid history of accurately reporting incidents from inside war-torn Syria.”
They also confirmed their reports with “top tier commanders” in ISIS.
BREAKING Islamic State leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi has been killed – Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says it has “confirmed information” pic.twitter.com/zFtGqXlNqE
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) July 11, 2017
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told Reuters on Tuesday that it had “confirmed information” that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed.
The report came just days after the Iraqi army recaptured the last sectors of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, which Baghdadi’s forces overran almost exactly three years ago.
Russia’s Defence Ministry said in June that it might have killed Baghdadi when one of its air strikes hit a gathering of Islamic State commanders on the outskirts of the Syrian city of Raqqa.
Russia claimed that al-Baghdadi had been killed in an airstrike at the end of May, reporting it with a “high degree of probability.”
Those reports were met with skepticism, as al-Baghdadi had been deemed dead several times since ISIS took hold of northern Iraq and Syria in 2014.
Washington could not independently verify the SOHR reports, but President Trump seemed to celebrate the news earlier on social media.
Big wins against ISIS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2017
A Pentagon spokesman responded to the reports with an epic statement.
While saying the U.S. could not verify al-Baghdadi had been killed, the spokesman did express that they “hope[s] it is true.”
Then they warned of even further casualties to befall ISIS – “We strongly advise ISIS to implement a strong line of succession, it will be needed,” the spokesman added.
— Americans4YPG (@Amercans4YPG) July 11, 2017
Despite lack of confirmation from Washington, the CBS report reiterates that the SOHR “has a record of credible reporting on the Syrian conflict.”
They report that al-Baghdadi’s death “would be one of the biggest blows yet to the jihadist group.”
A jihadist group former president Obama referred to as the JV team.
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