The Russian Military believes they may have killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, though the American Military has doubts.
Here is what the Russian Defense Ministry said in an official statement:
“On May 28, after drones were used to confirm the information on the place and time of the meeting of IS leaders, between 00:35 and 00:45, Russian air forces launched a strike on the command point where the leaders were located. According to the information which is now being checked via various channels, also present at the meeting was Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was eliminated as a result of the strike.”
The U.S. and Iraqi Militaries both appear to have doubts about whether Baghdadi is dead, particularly because he has been reported dead or wounded many times before.
The Iraqi Military believes Baghdadi was not in Raqqa – the city said to have been the location of the Russian strike. They believe one of his aides was killed instead.
Speaking for the Americans, Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman has said, “We have no information to corroborate those reports.”
Russia is said to be looking into the strike to confirm whether or not Baghdadi is dead.
If Russia has successfully taken out Baghdadi, it would be an important moment for the civilized world as a brutal terrorist is taken out. That said, Baghdadi would be replaced with another leader, and the threat in our own country from Islamic terrorism would remain.
Even if Baghdadi is dead, we will need to focus on detaining and removing jihadis from our country, and blocking the return of any who left Canada to fight for ISIS. That’s simply common-sense, and it’s necessary to keep our people safe.