> But have so far offered no proof. Michael Georgy, Reuters special correspondent for the Middle East, is at a funeral for so-called martyrs killed whilst fighting Islamic State in the battle for the militant group's stronghold in Raqqa.>> Even military officials at this funeral are saying it doesn't really matter Baghdadi died or he was killed.
The point is, they'll replace him with somebody else. The long term question is more important. That is, will they prevent Islamic State from morphing into a more radical group or waging an insurgency in Iraq or Syria? Will they provide jobs for young men so they don't join Islamic State?
Those are the long term questions that really determine where there's stability in Iraq or Syria or other parts of the Middle East.>> US officials say they cannot confirm Baghdadi's death. Many regional officials have also poured cold water on Moscow's claims. Baghdadi has frequently been reported killed or wounded since he declared a caliphate in 2014.
His death would be a major hammer blow for the militant group already losing ground in Iraq and Syria. On Wednesday the medieval mosque where Al-Baghdadi announced his Islamic State to the world was blown up. Iraqi forces blame militants for leveling the Mosul landmark as they tried to expel IS from the city.