Wednesday 22 November 2017

ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi 'hit during air strikes' near Syrian border, claims Iraqi military

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of Islamic State
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of Islamic State

David Kearns

A convoy carrying the Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has reportedly been hit in a deadly air raid by Iraqi forces.

A series of ISIS vehicles in western Anbar province, close to the Syrian border, was struck by units from the Iraqi air force, the military said in a statement.

The strike has reportedly killed a number of ISIS leaders but it is not known whether Mr al-Baghdadi is among them.

The fate of the militant leader, who declared himself the leader of a caliphate in areas ISIS controls in Iraq and Syria, has not been determined, the military said.

Read more: Islamic State leader repeatedly raped American hostage Kayla Mueller, US officials say

"Iraqi air forces have bombed the convoy of the terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi while he was heading to Karabla to attend a meeting with Daesh commanders," the statement read, using the Arabic acronym for Islamic State.

The military said the air force bombed a location where Mr Baghdadi was planning to meet Islamic States commanders.

The moment of the explosion
The moment of the explosion

"The location of the meeting was also bombed and many of the group's leaders were killed and wounded.

“Fate of murderer al-Baghdadi is unknown and he was carried away by a vehicle. His health condition is still unclear," the military added.

Read More: Scuffles in Ankara as nation mourns victims of deadliest terror attack in Turkish history

Islamic State has seized swathes of Syria and Iraq and in June declared a caliphate over territory it controls.

Mr Baghdadi is believed to have accepted oaths of allegiance from supporters in Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Algeria.  

The United States currently has a reward in the region of $10million on his head.

An injured man hugs an injured woman after the explosion at a peace march in Ankara yesterday
An injured man hugs an injured woman after the explosion at a peace march in Ankara yesterday

Yesterday Turkey named ISIS as among the groups suspected to be behind the twin suicide attacks in Ankara which left at least 95 people dead and hundreds injured.

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