IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ‘killed in Syria’

isissUNVERIFIED reports from Syrian state run TV claim that the leader of Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed in an air strike in the country.

The IS stronghold of Raqqa was bombed heavily overnight on Saturday, local time, with the terrorist group’s Amaq news agency revealing the damage.

In July 2014 Bakr al-Baghdadi, proclaimed a “caliphate” that covered territory in both Iraq and Syria.

False claims of his death have previously been reported.

Raqqa became a key city in IS’s self-declared caliphate, a hub for the organisation’s activities and attacks in Syria, Iraq and further afield.

IS took over all levels of civil administration, rewriting school curriculums, establishing Islamic courts and creating police units to implement Islamic law.

Raqqa also became the scene of some of IS’s worst atrocities, including gruesome executions, public displays of bodies and sex trafficking.

The city has long been seen as a prize by multiple parties to the Syrian conflict, including the government, Russia, Turkey and the US-led coalition bombing IS since 2014.

On November 5 last year, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed Arab-Kurdish alliance, launched a major offensive dubbed “Wrath of the Euphrates” to take Raqqa.

An estimated 300,000 civilians were believed to have been living under IS rule in Raqqa, including 80,000 who fled there from other parts of the country.

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