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19 June 2017, 12:52 | Opal Carroll
"Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was also present at the meeting and was killed as a result of the strike", the ministry said.
However, a Reuters report quoting a colonel with the Iraqi national security service said Baghdadi was not believed to have been in Raqqa at the time of the strike in late May.
The Russian Federation is now claiming credit for having killed the elusive ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
It said the air raid on May 28 that targeted an ISIS meeting held on the southern outskirts of Raqqa in Syria also killed about 30 mid-level militant leaders and about 300 other fighters.
"The information is that as of the end of last month Baghdadi was in Deir al-Zor, in the area between Deir al-Zor and Iraq, in Syrian territory", he said by phone.
"I'm not going to take this too seriously because there have been at least five reported killings of al-Baghdadi over the last three years", he said.
Early reports indicate that several terrorists have been killed and their equipment and weapons destroyed following the missile attacks launched by the IRGC from bases in Iran's western provinces of Kermanshah and Kordestan.
A US-led coalition is assisting Iraqi forces in the Mosul battle and supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which includes Arab and Kurdish militias, in Raqqa amid concern over civilian casualties.
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A large number of ISIS terrorists, including non-Syrians, were killed and their military hardware were damaged in the attack.
Minutes after midnight of the said date, an airstrike was done near Raqqa in Syria, where Russian Federation believes a gathering of around 30 ISIS leaders and 300 militants took place.
Russian Federation sent an air force contingent to Syria in September 2015 to shore up President Bashar al-Assad, bombing both IS and other rebel groups opposed to the government.
Su-35 and Su-34 jets were used in the strike, which was preceded by drone reconnaissance flights, the ministry said.
U.S. defense officials said they were unable to confirm the reports.
On Monday, IS released an audio message from its chief spokesman, Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajer, urging supporters to carry out attacks in the United States and Europe during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Al-Baghdadi is a nom de guerre for a man identified as Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai.
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