According to a Syrian human rights organization, Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the most wanted man in the world, is dead.
The Times of Israel reports that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that earlier reports from the Iraqi media about the death of al-Baghdadi were accurate.
While "no details regarding the circumstances of Baghdadi’s death" have ben offered, the Observatory's director, Rami Abdel Rahman, says "top tier commanders" from the Islamic State in the ISIS-controlled Deir Ezzor province "have confirmed the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, emir of the Islamic State group, to the Observatory."
“We learned of it today but we do not know when he died or how," said Abdel Rahman, adding that while the terrorist leader "was present in eastern parts of Deir Ezzor province" recently, it is unclear if he was killed there.
The Times underscores that there has been "no official confirmation or denial of the news on social media platforms" by ISIS and that the US-led coalition has not verified the report, though a spokesman said they "hope it is true."
“We cannot confirm this report, but hope it is true,” coalition spokesman Colonel Ryan Dillon told the press. “We strongly advise ISIS to implement a strong line of succession, it will be needed."
The Russian Foreign Ministry said last month that they suspected al-Baghdadi was likely killed in a Russian aistrike in May.
Nicknamed "The Ghost," the Iraqi-born al-Baghdadi, 46, had been in hiding since 2014, frequently rumored to be injured or killed. According to reports, the radical Islamic group will announce a "new caliph" to replace him soon.
Images below of the elusive al-Baghdadi's only known public appearance back in June 29, 2014, at Mosul's Grand Mosque of al-Nuri, which was recaptured by Iraqi forces on Sunday: