Putin speaks out amid Russia claims ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was NOT killed by USA

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VLADIMIR PUTIN has spoken out after US President Donald Trump’s claims that US troops killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi were rebuffed by Moscow.

Al-Baghdadi was confirmed dead by Trump on Sunday, with the President claiming that the ISIS leader had “died like a dog” and “a coward” after he detonated his suicide vest while fleeing into a tunnel, chased by US military dogs. Moscow had initially cast doubt over Washington’s claims and highlighted “contradictory details” in Trump’s account, suggesting the extremist had not been killed – but the Kremlin appears to have made a U-turn. Vladimir Putin now accepts that Washington will have played a pivotal role in striking a huge blow to the death cult, assuming Trump’s claims are legitimate. 

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to say on Monday if the US had informed Russia about the operation in advance or provide other details.

However, he told reporters that the Russian military had spotted US planes and drones in the area of Syria where Washington said it had carried out the raid.

He said: “If this information (about Baghdadi’s death) is confirmed we can talk about a serious contribution by the president of the United States to the fight against international terrorism.”

This comes despite initial doubts over the US account claiming al-Baghdadi was killed. 

In a statement made by the Russian Foreign Ministry yesterday, Moscow claimed it did not “have reliable information” on a US Special Operations raid in Syria’s Idlib province.

Major General Igor Konashenkov added: “The increasing number of direct participants and countries that allegedly took part in this ‘operation,’ each one giving completely contradictory details, raises legitimate questions and doubts about its existence and especially the level of its success.”

Russia maintains a major base in Syria at Latakia. Konashenkov said, however, that the Russian military had observed no strikes by US aircraft in the region.

He noted: “Firstly, on Saturday and in recent days no air strikes were made on the Idlib de-escalation zone by US aircraft or the so-called ‘international coalition’ were recorded.

“Secondly, we are not aware of any alleged assistance to the passage of American aviation into the airspace of the Idlib de-escalation zone during this operation.”

Konashenkov argued in his statement that the Syrian government, backed by Russian air power had defeated ISIS, saying that al-Baghdadi’s death “has absolutely no operational significance on the situation in Syria or on the actions of the remaining terrorists in Idlib”.

Al-Baghdadi took over the leadership of ISIS in April 2010, back when it was still an underground offshoot of al-Qaeda in Iraq.

The terror group seized large chunks of Syria and Iraq in 2014-15 under his leadership.

The terrorist leader was previously active in the insurgency against US troops following the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

ISIS are now on the verge of defeat in Syria, with a combination of US, Syrian Democratic Forces, Syrian National Army and Russian military efforts driving the death cult out of key regions.

 

Putin‘s airstrikes have killed thousands of fighters from the death cult, with over 8000 civilians also being killed as a result of Russian intervention since 2011 – according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The terror group seized large chunks of Syria and Iraq in 2014-15 under his leadership.

The terrorist leader was previously active in the insurgency against US troops following the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

ISIS are now on the verge of defeat in Syria, with a combination of US, Syrian Democratic Forces, Syrian National Army and Russian military efforts driving the death cult out of key regions.

Putin’s airstrikes have killed thousands of fighters from the death cult, with over 8000 civilians also being killed as a result of Russian intervention since 2011 – according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

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