The Syrian Obaservatory for Human Rights said it had received “confirmed information” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been killed — and President Donald Trump reacted swiftly on Twitter, writing of the huge defeat for ISIS and huge win for the war on terror.
Big wins against ISIS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2017
The report came just days after Iraq’s government forces ousted ISIS from Mosul.
Reuters has more:
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. But Washington said it could not corroborate the death and Western and Iraqi officials have been skeptical.
Reuters could not independently verify Baghdadi’s death.
“(We have) confirmed information from leaders, including one of the first rank who is Syrian, in the Islamic State in the eastern countryside of Deir al-Zor,” said Rami Abdulrahman, the director of the British-based war monitoring group.
In Iraq, U.S. Army Colonel Ryan Dillon, spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State, said he could not confirm the news.
Abdulrahman said activists working with him in Deir al-Zor had been told by the Islamic State sources that Baghdadi had died, but not when or how. The sources said Baghdadi had been present in the eastern countryside of Syria’s Deir al-Zor province in the past three months.
The Pentagon has yet to confirm.
And in fact, Baghdadi’s death has been announced on previous occasions — on several previous occasions, in fact. But the Syrian Observatory is a credible source.
In fact, it has a solid background in reporting on the breaking news of Syria’s long-running conflict.
The United States has previously placed a $25 million reward for Baghdadi’s capture — the same amount that had placed on Osama bin Laden.