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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Monday, May 21, 2018

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Founder of ISIS - Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is DEAD and Russians claim to have hatched the deadly plot

Russian defense ministry said

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MOSCOW, Russia - Amidst several reports that have claimed that the founder of the most feared terrorist group - ISIS, is dead - now, the Russians have claimed to have hatched the plot that led to the man’s death.> BNN
 
The Russian defense ministry said in a statement on Friday that the country believes one of its airstrikes may have killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
While the U.S.-led coalition battling ISIS in the troubled region has said it was unable to confirm the report, Russia’s statement comes days after the Syrian state run TV claimed in a decisive statement, that al-Baghdadi had been killed in an air strike in the country.
 
Several times in the past, the media has speculated about the death of one of the world’s most feared man, the man who laid foundation of a terrorist outfit, that would grow to become the biggest threat facing the world.
 
However, each time the world media speculated about the death of the leader of the Islamic State militant group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi - more atrocities followed and the man was proven to be alive and plotting much bigger attacks. 
 
Baghdadi is believed to have been born in the Iraqi city of Samarra in 1971.
 
After being detained for three years in the U.S. prison camp in Iraq, Camp Bucca, he was released in the year 2009.
 
Then, in 2010, he emerged as the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, which was then an offshoot that would eventually morph into ISIS.
 
Baghdadi transformed the militants into a well-oiled and organized fighting force.
 
The group changed its name in April 2013 - signalling the group's broader ambitions of establishing a caliphate straddling the border of Iraq and Syria which strictly enforces Shariah law.
 
In 2013, Baghdadi released an audio statement, claiming to be a direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad and vowed to erase the "Western imposed border with Syria.” 
 
He called on his followers to "tear apart" the governments in both countries and their regional backers.
 
In July 2014, al-Baghdadi, proclaimed a “caliphate” that covered territory in both Iraq and Syria and reports of his death have been circulated even since then.
 
Soon after, ISIS claimed Raqqa as a key city in its self-declared caliphate and made it a hub for the organisation’s activities and attacks in Syria, Iraq and other regions.
 
The terror group took over all levels of civil administration, rewriting school curriculums, establishing Islamic courts and creating police units to implement Islamic law - masterminded by al-Baghdadi. 
 
In a Facebook post on Friday, Russia's defense ministry said that it was checking information related to the attack, which it said targeted a meeting of senior ISIS figures near the group's Syrian stronghold of Raqqa on May 28.
 
The defense ministry added that around 30 field commanders and 300 militants were killed by Su-35 and Su-34 fighter jets and that Baghdadi may have been at the meeting.
 
The statement read, “According to the information that is being checked via various channels ... the leader of ISIS was at the conference and was eliminated as a result of the strike. High-ranking commanders of the terrorist group, who were part of the so-called military council of ISIS, as well as about 30 mid-level field commanders and up to 300 fighters in charge of their personal protection, were killed.”
 
The Russian military said it has told the U.S. about the strike "that may have killed the ISIS leader."
 
Earlier this year, U.S. and Iraqi authorities believed al-Baghdadi had abandoned his fighters and gone into hiding as Iraqi forces continued to make inroads into Mosul.
 
A month later, in April, a documentary called him the world’s most wanted man with the U.S. State Department placing a bounty of $25 million for any information leading to his location, arrest, or conviction. 
 
Reports pointed out that Ayman al-Zawahiri, the al Qaeda leader, is the only other person with a similar bounty.
 
He managed to avoid capture by Iraqi special forces “by minutes” after escaping through a trapdoor.
 
Reports revealed details about his escape days after al-Baghdadi’s deputy Ayad al-Jumaili was killed in an air strike.  
 
In the process, Raqqa became the scene of some of ISIS’s worst atrocities, including gruesome executions, public displays of bodies and sex trafficking.
Many governments, including Russia, Turkey and the U.S.-led coalition - have all being trying to rid Raqqa off the terror group, by bombing the ISIS in the city since 2014.
 
Last year, in November, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a U.S.-backed Arab-Kurdish alliance, launched a major offensive dubbed “Wrath of the Euphrates” to take Raqqa.
 
Worst affected were the estimated 300,000 civilians that were believed to have been living under ISIS rule in Raqqa, including 80,000 who fled there from other parts of the country.
 
However, as the SDF drew closer to the city, thousands were smuggled out to territory newly captured by the U.S.-backed fighters.
 
As the coalition achieved a set of victories in the surrounding province - the SDF sealed off the approaches to Raqqa city from the north, east and west.
Last week, the SDF said its forces entered the city from the eastern district of Al-Meshleb.
 
Meanwhile, the U.S.-led coalition has been backing the SDF with air strikes, equipment and special forces advisers.
 
Reports have stated that if confirmed, Baghdadi's death would represent a major success for the Russian military that has been supporting the Syrian regime in the country’s civil war since 2015.

 

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