The Russian Federation’s military said on Sunday that it had “valid doubts” about whether ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in the U.S. raid.
Raw Story reports: “In a speech from the White House on Sunday, Trump first thanked Russia for its assistance in the raid. According to Trump, Russia had allowed U.S. aircraft into its airspace to conduct the operation. But later on Sunday, the Russian military indicated that it was unaware of the raid, according to BBC reporter Steve Rosenberg. A spokesperson for the Russian military said there were ‘valid doubts about the reality & success’ of the U.S. operation.”
Said the Russian defense ministry, according to Rosenberg: “We are not aware of any assistance having being given to US Air Force flights into the air space of the Idlib de-escalation zone in this operation…”
The Daily Beast adds: ‘The Russian Defense Ministry’s spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov, refuted President Trump’s statement, stating in part: “The Russian Defense Ministry has no reliable information about U.S. servicemen conducting an operation for ‘yet another’ elimination of the former Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the Turkish-controlled part of the Idlib de-escalation zone.” … Kremlin-controlled Russian state media shot down President Trump’s announcement, with headlines that read: “The Russian Defense Ministry does not believe in al-Baghdadi’s liquidation.” Major General Igor Konashenkov scoffed at the changing details of the operation, with Trump adding alleged participants and various countries that supposedly took part in the raid, “each with completely contradictory details,” which Konashenkov said “raises reasonable questions and doubts about [the operation’s] veracity, not to mention success.””
Also: ‘Konashenkov skeptically pointed out that al-Baghdadi was already supposedly “eliminated” multiple times, with such claims being later disproven. In fact, Russia itself, as well as the Assad regime, have falsely claimed to have killed the ISIS leader multiple times.’