Energy Security
US cannot confirm Daesh leader’s death
- Defense secretary responds to reports Baghdadi killedrnrn

Defense Secretary James Mattis said Friday the U.S. can’t confirm claims Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Daesh's proclaimed "caliph", is dead.

"We assume he's alive until it's proven otherwise. And right now, I can't prove it otherwise," Mattis told reporters. "If we knew, we would tell you. Right now, I can't confirm or deny it."

The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights was the latest group to claim Baghdadi is dead when it said earlier this week sources within Syria's Deir ez-Zour city had confirmed it.

Last month, Russia claimed it had likely killed Baghdadi in an airstrike on a southern suburb of Daesh's Syrian capital, Raqqah.

The U.S. has placed a $25 million bounty on Baghdadi's head.

By Michael Hernandez in Washington

Anadolu Agency





15 Jul,2017