Russia Says It Killed IS Leader Adnani in Syria

MOSCOW (Reuters) -
An Islamic State flag is seen in this picture illustration taken February 18, 2016. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo
An Islamic State flag. (Reuters/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo)

Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that Russian airstrikes in Syria had killed Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, Islamic State spokesman and one of the terror group’s most prominent leaders.

The ministry said that Adnani was one of up to 40 rebels killed on Tuesday by air strikes carried out by a Russian Su-34 bomber in Maaratat-Umm Khaush in Aleppo province.

Islamic State said on Tuesday Adnani had been killed in what appeared to be a U.S. air strike in Syria. A U.S. defense official told Reuters the United States targeted Adnani in a strike but stopped short of confirming his death.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said Adnani’s killing by the Russian air strike had been confirmed “through several intelligence channels.”

Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency reported on Tuesday that Adnani was killed “while surveying the operations to repel the military campaigns against Aleppo.”