The leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has reportedly been “critically” injured in a US-led airstrike in Iraq that targeted a convoy of military vehicles allegedly carrying a group of senior ISIS members.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a self-proclaimed as caliph of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (formerly ISIL/ISIS) was “critically wounded” during a US-led air operation in the Iraqi town of al-Qaim, tribal sources told Al Arabiya News Channel.
The strikes, which destroyed a vehicle convoy of 10 armed trucks late Friday, targeted a “gathering of ISIL leaders” near Mosul, US Central Command announced, however the Pentagon could not confirm whether al-Baghdadi was part of the escort.
“We cannot confirm if ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was among those present,” CENTCOM said in a statement, stressing that US coalition continues to “pressure” the terrorist network, and the “group’s increasingly limited freedom to maneuver, communicate and command.”
MP for Iraq’s Anbar province, Mohammed al-Karbouli, confirmed the strike saying that the “international coalition aircraft targeted a meeting of ISIS leaders in Qaim city located west of Anbar which resulted in dozens of deaths and injuries and caused severe confusion among ISIS members who then cut off all roads in Qaim in order to transport their wounded to the hospital that was packed with the wounded and body parts,” Iraqi News reports.
Colonel Patrick Ryder, a Central Command spokesman specified that overnight strikes near al-Qaim also destroyed two ISIS checkpoints.
“I can confirm that coalition aircraft did conduct a series of air strikes yesterday evening in Iraq against what was assessed to be a gathering of ISIL leaders near Mosul,” said Ryder. At least 50 bodies were brought into Mosul’s morgue, officials told Reuters.
Al-Hadath TV outlet also named Baghdadi as one of the participants of the militants’ meeting targeted by US… see more