24 June, 2017
The statement added, "According to information which is verified through various channels, the meeting was also attended by the leader of ISIS, Ibrahim Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was also killed during the airstrike".
The Russian military announced on Friday that they may have killed the leader of the Islamic State Group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, after an airstrike destroyed a meeting at which the terrorist group leader was believed to be in attendance, although official confirmation has not yet been received.
"On May 28, after drones were used to confirm the information on the place and time of the meeting of IS leaders, between 00:35 and 00:45, Russian air forces launched a strike on the command point where the leaders were located", the statement said.
Earlier on Sunday, the Syrian state television reported that the ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has allegedly been killed in airstrikes.
The ministry said about 300 other fighters and 30 mid-level IS leaders were killed in the attack, including Abu al-Khadji al-Mysri, Ibrahim al-Naef al-Khadj and Suleiman al-Shauah.
At this point, al-Baghdadi's death has not been verified.
The U.S. deployed its High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), a truck-mounted system that can fire missiles as far as 185 miles (300km), to a training base in the southern Syrian town of Tanf for the first time this week.
"We can not confirm these reports at this time", Army Col. Ryan Dillon said.
The Americans are investigating whether the strikes were in the precise area the Russians are claiming and whether there is any intelligence on who may have been in that location, the USA official said.
Al-Baghdadi is very rarely even captured on camera, but he did appear in 2014 in Mosul, Iraq, to proclaim himself the Caliph, or leader, of his so-called Islamic State.
However, Lavrov warned the public to remain cautious in discussing the impact of Baghdadi's potential death. Simultaneously, the US -led military coalition in Syria has supported the Syrian rebels who are fighting the Syrian government.
Baghdadi is credited with transforming the breakaway al-Qaeda group turning it into the independent ISIS group that is arguably the most powerful and wealthiest jihadist organisation in the world.
In March, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that "nearly all" of Baghdadi's deputies had been killed.
He apparently joined the insurgency that erupted after the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq and spent time in an American military prison.