Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi believed to be dead

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An image grab taken from a video released on July 5, 2014 by Al-Furqan Media shows alleged Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi preaching during Friday prayer at a mosque in Mosul. (Photo by Al-Furqan Media/Anadolu
An image grab taken from a video released on July 5, 2014 by Al-Furqan Media shows alleged Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi preaching during Friday prayer at a mosque in Mosul./Photo by Al-Furqan Media/Anadolu

The Islamic State group leader who reportedly had a $25 million bounty on his head is believed to have been killed in Syria, FOX News reports.

A “high-value ISIS target” – believed to be Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS – was killed by U.S.-led forces in Idlib, Syria, a well-placed military source told FOX News on Saturday night. A senior Trump administration official later confirmed the source’s account, according to FOX News.

The report comes after President Donald Trump tweeted at 9:23 p.m., “Something very big has just happened!”

Following the president’s tweet, White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere released the following statement to the press pool:

According to the White House schedule released for Sunday, the president will deliver remarks from the Diplomatic Reception Room.

No other details were made available from the White House.

Newsweek reported late Saturday evening that Baghdadi was killed during a special operations mission that the president approved about a week ago.

The strike came amid concerns that a recent American pullback from northeastern Syria could infuse new strength into the militant group, which had lost vast stretches of territory it had once controlled.

Al-Baghdadi led IS for the last five years, presiding over its ascendancy as it cultivated a reputation for beheadings and attracted hundreds of thousands of followers to a sprawling and self-styled caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

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