Russia's Defense Ministry said Friday it was checking, via various channels, information that a Russian military airstrike may have killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in late May in northern Syria.
The airstrike near the city of Raqqa on May 28 targeted a meeting of Islamic State leaders. Baghdadi took part in the meeting and discussed with other participants a route to escape from Raqqa, the Islamic State's so-called capital, according to the Russian ministry.
The U.S.-led coalition fighting the militants to take back Raqqa said it has not confirmed the information, according to Reuters news agency.
As a result of the Russian airstrike, senior commanders of the terrorist group were eliminated, as well as about 30 field commanders and up to 300 militants, Russia's defense ministry said.
Sukhoi Su-35 fighters and Su-34 bombers were used in the attack, and Russia notified the United States in advance the time and target of the attack, it said.
Baghdadi is believed to have been born in Samarra, central Iraq, in 1971. He eventually became the leader of what is now called Islamic State.
After taking control of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul in June 2014, the group declared the establishment of a political-religious state straddling Iraq and Syria.
Among terrorist incidents in recent years, the extremist group claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks in 2015 and an attack on a bakery in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2016 which killed more than 20 people, including seven Japanese.