ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi dead

Islamic State (ISIS) chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed, Reuters quoted the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as saying. “(We have) confirmed information from leaders, including one of the first rank, in the Islamic State in the eastern countryside of Deir al-Zor,” the director of the British-based war monitoring group Rami Abdulrahman said.

Although Baghdadi’s death had been announced many times before, the Observatory is known for its track record of credible reporting on Syria’s civil war. Abdulrahman said Observatory sources in Syria’s eastern town of Deir al-Zor had been told by Islamic State sources that Baghdadi had died, but said: “they did not specify when”.

Russia’s Defence Ministry had suggested that one of its airstrikes might have killed Baghdadi when it hit a gathering of Islamic State commanders on the outskirts of the Syrian city of Raqqa. However, US said it could not confirm the death, while Western and Iraqi officials remained sceptical.