Is ISIS leader Baghdadi alive? ‘I don’t have a clue,’ says commander of anti-ISIS coalition

The U.S. military is pushing back against a report released today indicating that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed.

Reuters quoted the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in a Tuesday article noting that the organization, which in on the verge of defeat in parts of Iraq and Syria, had received information confirming the leader was killed.

In June, the Russian Defense Ministry said that it might have killed Baghdadi when one of its air strikes hit a gathering of ISIS commanders on the outskirts of the Syrian city of Raqqa — the de-facto ISIS capital. But the Pentagon still hasn’t been able to corroborate the ministry’s claims.

In Tuesday’s briefing, Gen. Stephen Townsend, the commanding officer in the U.S.-led fight against ISIS, said he doesn’t have proof that Baghdadi is alive, but also said he had received a report suggesting Baghdadi wasn’t in fact killed by the Russians.

“Despite all the helpful reports to us from every source imaginable, I’m unable to confirm or deny where he is, or whether he is alive or dead. Let me just say for the record, my fervent hope is it is the latter,” Townsend said in Tuesday’s briefing.

“I don’t know how to say it any other way… I don’t have a

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