The Islamic State militant group is said to have confirmed that the 45-year-old was killed in an air strike in the Iraqi province of Nineveh, media reports said.
Reports claim ISIS are scrambling to find a successor to their chief.
‘Top tier commanders from IS who are present in Deir Ezzor province have confirmed the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, emir of the Islamic State group, to the Observatory,’ director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said today that it also had information from top ISIS group leaders confirming the death.
‘We learned of it today but we do not know when he died or how.’
The Pentagon said today that it had no information to corroborate the claims.
Russia’s army said Sukhoi warplanes carried out a 10-minute raid on May 28 at a location near the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa, where group leaders had gathered to plan a pullout from the area.
The US-led coalition fighting the jihadist group in Syria and Iraq said at the time it could not confirm whether the Russian strike had killed Baghdadi.
The report came a day after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi formally declared Mosul liberated from the IS after nearly nine months of fierce fighting to dislodge the extremist militants from their last major stronghold in Iraq.
The 46-year-old Iraqi-born leader of ISIS has not been seen in public since making his only known public appearance as ‘caliph’ in 2014 at the Grand Mosque of Al-Nuri in Mosul.
Pertinently, ISIS destroyed the highly symbolic site before Iraqi forces could reach it as they pushed the jihadist group from Mosul, where Iraq’s government formally declared victory on Monday.