The reports came after a cryptic tweet by US President Donald Trump who said "something very big has just happened!"
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, has been killed in a US military operation in Syria, several American media have reported.
The reports came after a cryptic tweet by US President Donald Trump. "Something very big has just happened!" Trump announced, without giving any details.
It was first reported by Newsweek which said that the United States military conducted a special operations raid targeting one of its most high-value targets and al-Baghdadi was believed to be killed.
President Trump approved the mission nearly a week before it took place, the report said.
Earlier, reports said that US military helicopters flew over Syria's northwestern Idlib province, triggering speculation about an operation against ISIS.
Newsweek reported that a senior Pentagon official familiar with the operation said that Baghdadi was the target of the top-secret operation. The Defense Department has told the White House they have "high confidence" that the high-value target killed was Baghdadi, but further verification is pending.
This is not the first time that a report claiming his death has emerged. He was reported killed or injured multiple times since becoming the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) in 2010 and declared the captured territory as "caliphate" in 2014.
In April this year, al-Baghdadi has appeared in a video released by terror group's media arm Al Furqan for the first time in five years.
In the 2014 video, he had declared the captured territory in Syria and Iraq an Islamic "caliphate".