Speed Reads


Russia claims it killed ISIS leader al-Baghdadi outside Raqqa

On Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry said a Russian airstrike just outside the Islamic State's de facto capital Raqqa, Syria, on May 28 killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, along with other high-ranking ISIS leaders, 30 midlevel commanders, and about 300 other fighters. "According to the information that is being verified through various channels, IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi also attended the meeting and was killed in the airstrike," the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The ISIS leader is believed to have been hiding out in the desert outside of Mosul, Iraq, until escaping the area when U.S.-backed Iraqi forces recaptured most of the city. The meeting of senior ISIS leaders was to plan the group's withdrawal from Raqqa amid a mounting U.S.-backed offensive there, the Russian Defense Ministry said. This isn't the first report of al-Baghdadi's death, BBC News notes.