BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:20 P.M.) – The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) claims to have “confirmed evidence” that ISIS caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead.
According to the UK-based, pro-opposition Syrian War monitoring group, they have been able to confirm the death of the al-Baghdadi via sources based in the Syrian province of Deir Ezzor who have contact with the top ISIS leadership.
The actual cause of the ISIS caliph’s death or when it occurred remains unknown. However, the source quoted by the SOHR said that it happened somewhere near the Iraqi border.
In the three years since al-Baghdadi declared the Islamic State caliphate in June 2014, there have been more than a dozen official claims that he has either been killed or severely wounded.
Speculation regarding al-Baghdadi’s death was once against ignited in late-May of this year after the Russian Aerospace Forces (RuAF) conducted a number of precision airstrikes in the area of Raqqa city. According to Interfax Media, the ISIS caliph was among the 300 fighters and thirty commanders that the RuAF claimed to have killed in the attack.
As of the present time, US, Kurdish and Iraqi sources cannot corroborate the SOHR’s statement on the death of al-Baghdadi.
On the other hand, official Russian, Syrian and Iranian media sources have all claimed – well prior to the SOHR’s statement – that the ISIS caliph’s death was a matter of fact. Whilst Russian and Syrian media sources claimed the RuAF airstrike in Raqqa to be the cause of al-Baghdadi’s death, the official Iranian line was just that they were sure he was dead.