Intelligence analysts are highly skeptical of reports that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may have been killed in an airstrike last month.
Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for the U.S. operation against IS, said the U.S. “cannot confirm these reports at this time.”
Russia’s army said Friday one of its air strikes in Syria in late May targeting Islamic State commanders may have killed the terror group’s leader.
A statement posted by the Russian Defense Ministry on Facebook said the strike near the Islamic State’s de-facto capital of Raqqa hit a meeting that al-Baghdadi attended.
Russia claims the strike destroyed high-ranking commanders, about 30 field commanders and as many as 300 militants serving as personal guards.
The Russian military said it is checking through “various channels” that al-Baghdadi was killed. According to the ministry, the leaders were discussing their planned exit through the so-called southern corridor at the meeting.
National Security Correspondent Jeff Seldin contributed to this report.