Trump to announce plan to stop cash flow to Cuban military

Lance Nichols
June 19, 2017

Beirut- Moscow revived on Friday the controversy over the fate of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by announcing that its army might have killed him during an airstrike that targeted Syria's Raqqa last month.

"According to the information that is being verified through various channels, Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi also attended the meeting and was killed in the airstrike", it said in a statement.

The concentration of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) forces near the besieged Syrian city was noticed by Russian surveillance drones in early June, the ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

The ministry said the strike came as IS leaders gathered to discuss the group's withdrawal from Raqqa, the group's de facto capital. The U.S. State Department has offered a $25 million reward for information leading to his arrest. There have been numerous false claims of al-Baghdadi's death since he stepped out of the shadows and declared the resurrection of the caliphate in 2014, and this one should probably be added to the list.

The ministry said that around 180 fighters were killed, and that 16 military vehicles were destroyed along with weapons stores.

In Iraq, the USA -backed government has been battling to recapture Mosul since October a year ago after driving the group out of most of the rest of the territory it had seized.

Russian Federation in September 2015 launched a bombing campaign in Syria in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Other state media reported that more than 300 "terrorists" were killed in the strike.

Baghdadi has been rumoured wounded or killed a number of times in the past.

By restricting individual to Cuba, the new policy also risks cutting off a major source of income for Cuba's private business sector, which the policy is meant to support.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks Syria's war, said airstrikes on the road linked the villages of Ratla and Kasrat killed 18 people, while the activist-operated group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently said 17 civilians were killed in the airstrike on buses carrying civilians.

A character shrouded in mystery, Baghdadi's real name may be Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim al-Badri, and he may have been born in 1971 in Samarra, an ancient Iraqi city in the so-called Sunni Triangle north of Baghdad.

Senior White House officials who briefed reporters Thursday on the coming announcement said Obama's overtures had enriched Cuba's military while repression increased on the island.

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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