ISIS leader Abu Bkr al-Baghdadi was killed in a Syrian airstrike, led By US coalition on Saturday, according to according to unverified reports in Syrian state media.
Claims suggest the leader of ISIS Abu Bkr al-Baghdadi was killed in an air strike on Saturday.
Heavy artillery was dropped across the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa throughout the day, with footage online posted by ISIS news agency Amaq revealing the devastation caused.
It is possible the terror chief was ‘killed’ by white phosphorus bombing campaigns lead by Coalition forces in the IS-infested region throughout last week.
Dramatic footage has emerged showing the scorching munitions showering down on to the city and setting buildings ablaze.
According to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 13 civilians have been killed in coalition are raids in Raqqa over the past 24 hours.
The Islamic State leader has a £20million bounty on his head because his hate-filled sermons inspired suicide attacks across Europe. There have been previous reports of al-Baghdadi’s death, which turned out to be untrue.
The official media wing of ISIS, Amaq, has not confirmed the news of the leader’s death.
Activists in Syria, Raqqa24, reported an airstrike in the Raqqa that killed at least seven civilians on Saturday, but made no mention of al-Baghdadi.
Intelligence agencies believed the jihadist group leader was hiding in a desert on the outskirts of besieged city Mosul, before fleeing to ISIS’ de facto capital Raqqa when the Iraqi army pushed forward.
News of his ‘death’ emerged on local outlets as Iraqi forces claim his deputy, Ayad al-Jumaili, was killed in an air strike near Iraq’s border with Syria.
Jumaili – a former intelligence officer for Saddam Hussein – was labelled “second-in-command” and the “war minister” of ISIS by Iraqi TV.
In January, reports claimed al-Baghdadi was “critically injured” in airstrikes in northern Iraq.
Later in March, the Pentagon stated he managed to stay alive despite repeated efforts by the US-led coalition to take out the hate preacher.
Speaking to CNN, Pentagon Spokesman Peter Cook said: “We do think Baghdadi is alive and is still leading ISIL and we are obviously doing everything we can to track his movements.
“If we get the opportunity, we certainly would take advantage of any opportunity to deliver him the justice he deserves.
“We’re doing everything we can. This is something we’re spending a lot of time on.”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said it was “a matter of time” before the leader was killed.
“Nearly all of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s deputies are now dead, including the mastermind behind the attacks in Brussels, Paris, and elsewhere. It is only a matter of time before Baghdadi himself meets the same fate,” he said.
Al-Baghdadi previously spent time in an American military prison after joining the insurgency that emerged following the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.