ISIS Leader ‘Seriously Wounded’ By Coalition Airstrike
Islamic State leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has been “seriously wounded” by an airstrike in Iraq, according to sources who spoke to The Guardian.
“The source said Baghdadi’s wounds were at first life-threatening, but he has since made a slow recovery. He has not, however, resumed day-to-day control of the organisation,” reports the British newspaper.
The U.S.-led coalition launched the airstrike on March 18 in the Ninevah Governorate in northwest Iraq, an area bordering Syria. At first, Islamic State advisers thought he would die and gathered to choose a new leader.
The airstrike reportedly targeted Islamic State leaders traveling in three cars in the al-Baaj district, but coalition leaders did not know Baghdadi was also in the convoy, according to The Guardian.
Al-Baaj, a Sunni tribal area, has been considered a haven for jihadis due to little state control, even under Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein or during the U.S. military presence in Iraq.
Baghdadi was chosen by a group of Saddam-era intelligence officials in 2010, intended to serve as the religious face for the Islamic State. One official was the mastermind behind the Islamic State’s rise in Syria, according to Der Spiegel.
Due to the power role of former Iraqi officials, it is unlikely Baghdadi’s death would devastate the organization. “Since Baghdadi’s wounding, Isis’s military and Shura councils have become increasingly prominent in decision-making, the source close to the organisation revealed,” writes Guardian reporter Martin Chulov.
Previous reports of Baghdadi being injured were inaccurate, according to The Guardian.
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