Russia has not been a big player in the fight against terrorism in the Middle East so far.

But a statement originating directly from the Kremlin may have secured their allegiances for good, and swayed the war in the favor against ISIS.

The Kremlin recently claimed to have killed a major ISIS leader – but did they really?

In a far from definitive statement, the Russian military claimed to have killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in an airstrike.

Breitbart News reported:

“A May 28 airstrike on a suburban Raqqa, Syria, command post killed as up to 30 leaders and 300 troops in the militant group also identified as Daesh, ISIS, and ISIL. Reclusive leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was present ‘and was eliminated in the strike,’” the ministry said, reports United Press International (UPI).

“According to information, which we are checking through various channels, at the meeting was also present the leader of ISIS who as a result of the strike was destroyed. The American side was informed about the time and place of the Russian aviation through the channels of cooperation,” the Russian ministry declared in its statement, according to ABC News.

The United States and Russian militaries were both in contact about the airstrikes, but neither is sure if Baghdadi actually died or not– some are incredibly doubtful.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is one who is uncertain of Baghdadi’s fate.

He could not guarantee Baghdadi was actually killed and seemed hesitant in his answers.

Breitbart News reported:

There have been multiple reports erroneously claiming Baghdadi has been wounded and even killed, but the Kremlin’s military statement marks the first time Russia acknowledged it might have executed the war criminal.

Prior to the recent allegations by the Russian military that the ISIS chief may be dead, “unconfirmed news claimed that Baghdadi, whose exact whereabouts remained unknown for long, had been seriously wounded when airstrikes targeted a senior leadership meeting he chaired near the borders with Syria,” noted Iraqi News.

Moreover, the West and Iraq are skeptical about Moscow’s claim that it has taken out Baghdadi, points out Reuters.

“We can’t confirm these reports at this time,” said Col. Ryan Dillon, the spokesman for the anti-ISIS U.S.-led coalition, which maintains communications with Russia.

“We have no information to corroborate those reports,” reiterated U.S. Navy Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman.

The deaths of terrorist leaders are always so uncertain, due to the unbelievable amount of times they are falsely reported.

Until an official death notice is issued by ISIS, it is uncertain whether or not Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi is actually dead.

Breitbart News reported:

“His death has been reported so often that you have to be cautious till a formal Daesh [ISIS] statement comes,” an unnamed European security official told Reuters.

Pentagon officials say there are no indications of any “chatter” within the ranks of ISIS that Baghdadi has been killed or wounded, revealed Ret. Marine Col. Steve Ganyard who once served as a former deputy assistant secretary of state, according to ABC News.

“There’s nothing to back it up, no intelligence to back it up. So we need to remain very, very suspect of this claim,” added the retired Marine.

But if he did perish in the Russian airstrike, it would greatly affect ISIS/ISIL, and potentially shift the war against terrorism in favor of the West.

We will update you as this story develops.

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