US cannot confirm ISIL leader's death

Defense secretary responds to reports Baghdadi killed

US cannot confirm ISIL leader's death

World Bulletin / News Desk

Defense Secretary James Mattis said Friday the U.S. can’t confirm claims Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, ISIL's proclaimed "caliph", is dead.

"We assume he's alive until it's proven otherwise. And right now, I can't prove it otherwise," Mattis told reporters. "If we knew, we would tell you. Right now, I can't confirm or deny it."

The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights was the latest group to claim Baghdadi is dead when it said earlier this week sources within Syria's Deir ez-Zour city had confirmed it.

Last month, Russia claimed it had likely killed Baghdadi in an airstrike on a southern suburb of ISIL's Syrian capital, Raqqah.

The U.S. has placed a $25 million bounty on Baghdadi's head.

Last Mod: 15 Temmuz 2017, 00:46
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