The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Tuesday confirmed that the Islamic State group’s leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi has been killed, reported Reuters. The militant group also confirmed the new and said it will soon announce a successor.

“[The] Daesh organisation circulated a brief statement through its media in the [IS-held] town of Tal Afar west of Mosul, confirming the killing of its leader al-Baghdadi without giving further details,” Chinese news agency Xinhua reported, quoting Iraqi media outlet al-Sumaria News.

On June 16, Russia’s Defence Ministry had said it was investigating whether one of its air strikes in Syria in May had killed al-Baghdadi. Leaders of the Islamic State group had gathered at the command centre in Raqqa, the group’s de-facto capital, to discuss possible routes of retreat from the city.

The Russian military had initially sent drones to monitor the area and then dispatched a group of fighter jets to hit the Islamic State gathering. A number of senior leaders of the group were believed to have been killed in the strike.

There have been a number of reports of Baghdadi’s death in the past. He had declared himself the “caliph” at the Grand al-Nuri Mosque in Mosul in 2014 in his only public appearance.

The mosque and its famous leaning minaret was blown up by the Islamic State group on June 21.