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US Coalition 'Would Welcome' Daesh Leader Baghdadi's Death in Russian Airstrike

© Sputnik / Grigory Sysoyev / Go to the photo bankSu-34 strike fighter
Su-34 strike fighter - Sputnik International
The US-led coalition reported it had killed two important Daesh figures and said it would welcome the death of Daesh leader al-Baghdadi in a Russian airstrike, which is yet to be confirmed.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US-led coalition killed Fawas Muhammad Jubayr al-Rawi, a financial facilitator of Daesh, in an airstrike in the Syrian city of Abu Kamal last week, Operation Inherent Resolve said in a press release on Friday.

"Coalition forces killed a key ISIS [Daesh] financial facilitator with an airstrike in Abu Kamal, Syria, June 16," the statement said. "Fawas Muhammad Jubayr al-Rawi, a Syrian native and an experienced terrorist financial facilitator, moved millions of dollars for the terror organization's attack and logistic network."

The statement also said the coalition had killed Samir Idris, a militant who funded outside attacks, on June 7 near Mayadeen in Syria.

"Samir Idris, a key ISIS financial facilitator for external terror attacks and an international money launderer, was killed June 7, 2017, near Mayadin, Syria," the statement said.

A truck of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA). (File) - Sputnik International
You Don't Say? Syrian Military Fighting Daesh 'Not Bad Sign' - US Coalition
The June 7 coalition strike report lists one strike near Mayadeen, that "engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed a vehicle."

According to the coalition, Idris was trusted by senior Daesh leadership to move funds across international borders to pay for the attacks.

The US-led coalition of 69 members is conducting airstrikes, ground-based and rocket-propelled artillery fire against the Daesh in Syria and Iraq. The strikes in Iraq are conducted in support of the Iraqi government, but those in Syria are not authorized by the UN Security Council or the government of President Bashar Assad.

US Has No Definitive Proof Russians Killed Daesh Leader Baghdadi

The United States has no conclusive evidence that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of Daesh, was killed in Russian airstrikes, Operation Inherent Resolve Col. Ryan Dillon told reporters.

"We do not have any definitive proof to corroborate their claims to that," Dillon said. "We certainly would welcome the death of al-Baghdadi, but we do not have any definitive proof to lead us believe that this is accurate."

On Thursday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov told Sputnik it was "highly likely" Baghdadi was killed in Russian airstrikes on Daesh targets last month. Syromolotov emphasized the information is now verified through various channels.

Russian airstrike in Raqqa - Sputnik International
Russian MoD Releases Airstrike Photo That May Have Killed Daesh Leader Baghdadi
The Russian Defense Ministry said on June 16 that Baghdadi might have been among a group of terrorist leaders attending a so-called Daesh military council that was killed in a Russian Aerospace Forces strike on May 28 south of Raqqa in northern Syria.

Commenting on the news, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he could not give a firm proof that the Daesh leader was killed.

In 2014, Baghdadi declared the establishment of an Islamic caliphate and named himself caliph.

The US State Department designated Baghdadi as terrorist in 2011.

"If he is [alive], we suspect that he is not able to continue to influence what is happening in Raqqa," Dillon told reporters.

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