Trump says ISIS leader al-Baghdadi killed, Russian defense ministry doubts it
U.S. President Donald Trump said that ISIS (a terrorist group banned in Russia) Abu Bakr al-Badgdadi had died in an overnight raid led by U.S. forces in Syria’s Idlib governorate.
"Last night the United States brought the world's No.1 terrorist leader to justice," Trump said, adding that "many" of his companions and militants were killed with him.
"He reached the end of the tunnel as our dogs chased him down. He ignited his vest, killing himself and his three children. His body was mutilated by the blasts. The tunnel had caved on him," the U.S. leader said. However, according to him, the DNA test results gave a positive identification.
Russia’s defense ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that the ministry has no reliable proof that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed in a U.S. raid and doubts that such a raid has ever taken place.
The spokesman noted that the fact that the number of those who say about their participation in al-Baghdadi’s extermination and share contradictory details of the operation make one doubt that such an operation ever took place.
According to Konashenkov, airstrikes by the U.S. air force or by the US-led coalition have been reported from Syria’s Idlib de-escalation zone in the recent days.
"After ISIS was ultimately defeated by the Syrian government army with support of the Russia aerospace forces in early 2018, yet another ‘death’ of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi will have no impact either on the situation in Syria or on the actions of terrorists staying in Idlib," TASS cited him as saying.