Reports are circulating that the Islamic State’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed in an airstrike in late May.
According to CBN News, Russia claims the airstrike which killed al-Baghdadi was carried out while a group of ISIS militants were gathered near Raqqa, Syria, the city the terrorist group has claimed as their caliphate, or capital.
ISIS continues to lose territory in the Middle East as U.S. coalition forces have increased their offensive.
Recently, Secretary of Defense James Mattis said in an interview with CBS News that "Our strategy right now is to accelerate the campaign against ISIS. We have already shifted from attrition tactics where we shove them from one position to another in Iraq and Syria to annihilation tactics where we surround them."
As far as the battle of Raqqa, Mattis went on to state, "Our intention is that the foreign fighters do not survive the fight to return home to north Africa, to Europe, to America, to Asia, to Africa, we are not going to allow them to do so. We are going to stop them there and take apart the caliphate.”
If al-Baghdadi’s death is confirmed, it would be another major blow to the terrorist organization.
However, U.S. Army Col. Ryan Dillon said, “We cannot confirm these reports at this time.”
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Publication date: June 16, 2017