"I think Baghdadi's alive".
"I mean everyone who worked for him initially is dead or gone. We believe 99 percent he is alive". Still, with both the USA and Russian Federation targeting him, both want to upstage the other by getting there first.
In a 2015 raid ISIS oil minister Abu Sayyaf was killed and the United States obtained a great deal of "valuable information" about ISIS' structure and methods of evasion.
The strikes targeted a meeting of high-ranking Daesh chiefs where al-Baghdadi was reportedly present, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
This morning, President Trump lashed out once more at the free press, this time attacking the New York Times for allegedly foiling the US's efforts to kill ISIS leader Al-Baghdadi. Will the President ever elaborate on just how the Times foiled the US Military's operation?
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Rami Abdel-Rahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told dpa that al-Baghdadi died in a village in Deir al-Zour province in eastern Syria.
"The Failing New York Times foiled US attempt to kill the single most wanted terrorist, -Al-Baghdadi.Their sick agenda over National Security", Trump tweeted.
The Iraqi native has not been seen since making his only known public appearance as "caliph" in 2014 at the Grand Mosque of Al-Nuri in Mosul, which was destroyed in the battle for Iraq's second city.
The New York Times did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Mr. Trump's tweet.
Mattis said he believed al-Baghdadi still "had a role to play" in the Islamic State organization, stating he may have assumed a role as a spiritual or propaganda leader. The Washington Post also received an earful for reporting on intelligence intercepts between Russia's ambassador and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.