FILE PHOTO: A man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has made what would be his first public appearance at a mosque in the centre of Iraq’s second city, Mosul, according to a video recording posted on the Internet on July 5, 2014, in this still image taken from video. Social Media Website via Reuters TV/File Photo

Reuters – Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was believed to have been killed in a U.S. military operation in Syria, sources in Syria, Iraq and Iran said on Sunday, as U.S. President Donald Trump prepared to make a “major statement” at the White House.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, earlier told Reuters Baghdadi was targeted in the overnight raid but was unable to say whether the operation was successful.

A commander of one of the militant factions in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib said Baghdadi was believed to have been killed in a raid after midnight on Saturday involving helicopters, warplanes and a ground clash in the village of Brisha near the Turkish border.

Two Iraqi security sources and two Iranian officials said they had received confirmation from inside Syria that Baghdadi had been killed.

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