16:51 GMT24 January 2021
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    Battle Against Daesh in Syria (180)
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    Moscow cannot confirm the Daesh leader's death in a Russian airstrike, a deputy foreign minister said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — There is no confirmation of Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's death in Russian airstrikes late last month yet, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said Tuesday.

    "There is no confirmation," Gatilov told reporters.

    Since September 2015, the Russian Aerospace Forces have been carrying out airstrikes in Syria targeted at terrorist positions at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

    On June 16, the Russian Defense Ministry said that al-Baghdadi might have been among a group of terrorist leaders attending a so-called Daesh military council and killed in a Russian Aerospace Forces strike on May 28 south of the Daesh stronghold of Raqqa in northern Syria.

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

    In 2014, al-Baghdadi, an Islamic cleric and at the time the leader of Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (Daesh, ISIL, or IS terrorist group), declared establishment of an Islamic caliphate and named himself its caliph. He is also listed as a terrorist by the US Department of State since 2011.

    Battle Against Daesh in Syria (180)


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