On April 5, First Deputy Chief of Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) Igor Kostyukov told the Russian news agency Interfax that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, is most likely in Iraq.
“Al-Baghdadi is most likely in Iraq. It is unlikely that he’s in Syria,” Kostukov said adding that the “certain location” of the infamous terrorist is unknown.
Over the past years, media reports have repeatedly appeared claiming that al-Baghdadi has been killed or captured.
Particularly, on June 16, 2017, the Russian Ministry of Defense stated that, according to preliminary data, al-Baghdadi had been eliminated by a Russian airstrike in Syria on May 28. The strike of Su-35 and Su-24 warplanes were aimed at a meeting of top ISIS members in the southern suburb of Raqqah.
Later, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov stated that he cannot confirm the information about the alleged liquidation of al-Baghdadi.