The Iranian State media has quoted Ali Shirazi, a representative of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameini, as saying Islamic State’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was “definitely dead.”
According to a report by The Hindu, “Terrorist Baghdadi is definitely dead,” Islamic Republic News Agency (INRA) quoted Shirazi on June 29. Shirazi, a representative of the foreign branch of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Cops, known as the Quds force, ascertained that Baghdadi was dead without elaborating further. The Quds force is responsible for Iran’s extraterritorial operations.
Russia, on June 17, 2017, had surmised that their forces had killed the elusive IS leader in an air-strike in Syria. However, the US, on June 29, did not validate the reports citing lack of information on the matter. Iraqi officials have also been sceptical on the issue. It also is unclear whether Shirazi’s claim was related to the Russia.
Baghdadi has frequently been reported killed or wounded since he declared a caliphate to rule over all Muslims from a mosque in Mosul in 2014. The said declaration by Baghdadi came after IS fighters occupied large areas of northern Iraq.
Sources: Reuters, The News week, The Hindu