Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the ISIS leader is probably still alive, according to the Pentagon and intelligence gathered from the area. Airstrikes carried out by the anti-ISIS coalition earlier this year, in March and October, have hit convoys allegedly carrying the radical Wahhabi leader in both instances.
Al-Baghdadi was said to have been injured in these two incidents, although the Pentagon has not yet confirmed such reports. However, last week, the Iraqi Army has said that al-Baghdadi was again wounded in an airstrike carried out against his convoy, while travelling to meet with fellow ISIS commanders and recruiters in the Karabelah area.
The airstrike which allegedly hit al-Baghdadi was carried out by the Iraqi Air Force and was deemed a heroic operation by all participating forces in the struggle against the so-called Islamic State.
Most recently, in another update, reports have surfaced that nine officials associated with the Takfiri group have been killed during the attack, as well as a large number of al-Baghdadi’s personal bodyguards. It was also rumored that the site where the meeting was supposed to take place has also been bombed, resulting in the deaths of several ISIS operatives. Many more are said to have been injured during the air raid.
Originally, the Iraqi Army claimed that al-Baghdadi was killed in the attack. His corpse was then allegedly carried away in one vehicle which evaded the airstrikes. However, such reports have been denied by the Pentagon, which maintains that the ISIS leader is probably still alive and most likely continues to be the head operative of the terror group.
An ISIS operative who was reached by telephone for an interview with the media has refused to confirm or deny if al-Baghdadi had been wounded or even killed in the attack. He went on to say that even if the rumors are true, this will only make their leader a martyr, while the group will remain intact and maintain its operations in Iraq and Syria, as well as all other countries where sleeper cells are present.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was born in Iraq and grew up during the Saddam regime. He was previously arrested in 2004 by US forces near Fallujah and detained at Camp Bucca. His status was eventually lowered to “low level prisoner” and recommended for release as he was deemed not to pose a threat to national security.
The radical Wahhabi leader is venerated by his ISIS followers as a ‘caliph’ and direct descended of the Prophet Muhammad. The US State Department has placed a $10 million reward for any information leading to his capture or death.
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