MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian information about Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIL or Daesh, banned in Russia) has very likely been eliminated during a Russian-led airstrike last month, Russian lawmaker Alexei Pushkov told Sputnik on Thursday.
"According to the data of the Russian side the probability of al-Baghdadi's death is about 100 percent," Pushkov said.
The lawmaker noted that information received from different sources indicated that there was a power struggle within the Daesh for its top position, which serves as signal that al-Baghdadi is dead.
"If he were alive, then as a demonstration of power and as a means of increasing war morale, a refutation would have been already announced," the lawmaker pointed out.
Earlier in June, the Russian Defense Ministry said al-Baghdadi was likely eliminated as a result of a Russian Aerospace Forces strike on a militant command post in the southern suburb of the city of Raqqa in late May. It noted that it was in the process of confirming the information through various channels.
Al-Baghdadi appeared in the media for the first time in 2014 when he declared the creation of a caliphate in the Middle East. Since then, the media have reported several times about the death of the Daesh leader, though the information has never been confirmed.
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