Confusion over the fate of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi continues to linger even as Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday it's "highly likely" the Islamic State group's leader was killed in Russian airstrike earlier this month. Russian media cited Sergei Lavrov saying with a high degree of certainty that Baghdadi was eliminated. 

Lavrov's comments came hours after the ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the ministry had no information on what may have happened to Baghdadi, state-run Russian news outlet TASS reported. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov told Sputnik, also a state-run outlet, that Baghdadi is dead.

Read: Is Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Dead?

"According to the Russian Defense Ministry, it is highly likely that Daesh leader al-Baghdadi was eliminated as a result of a Russian Aerospace Forces strike on the terrorists' command post in the southern suburb of the city of Raqqa in late May this year," Syromolotov said.

Last week, Russia's defense ministry said it believed Baghdadi and up to 330 other ISIS fighters were killed in Raqqa when Russia-backed airstrikes hit the area on May 28. A Russian Su-34 aircraft and a Su-35 multirole reportedly carried out the strikes where Baghdadi and other fighters were attending a meeting.

"On May 28, after drones were used to confirm the information on the place and time of the meeting of ISIS leaders, between 00:35 and 00:45, Russian air forces launched a strike on the command point where the leaders were located," a statement from the ministry said. "On May 28, after drones were used to confirm the information on the place and time of the meeting of ISIS leaders, between 00:35 and 00:45, Russian air forces launched a strike on the command point where the leaders were located." 

The U.S Department of State has designated Baghdadi as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT). “We informed the American side in advance of the raid that is likely to have killed Baghdadi,” the ministry said.

Over the years, several reports claiming to have captured, wounded or killed Baghdadi have surfaced, ultimately proving to be untrue.

Read: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Rumored To Be Living Out Final Days In Iraq

Earlier this year, reports claimed Iraqi warplanes struck a house where Baghdadi was reportedly meeting some of the militant organization's top commanders. "Iraqi intelligence was carefully monitoring the movements of Baghdadi, but his injury has not yet been confirmed," an Iraqi defense spokesperson was quoted as saying at the time.

Baghdadi, whose real name is Ibrahim al-Samarrai, is responsible for turning ISIS into a formidable force in northern Iraq and parts of Syria after helping the group splinter off from al Qaeda. Baghdadi is believed to be 45 years old and from Samarra, located north of Baghdad.