Friday, 25 May, 2018

Iraqi Official Says IS Leader Baghdadi Still Alive But In Ill

ABC News ABC News
Faye Gross | 15 February, 2018, 07:50

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State (ISIS) jihadist group, is still alive but injury and poor health have forced him to relinquish control of the group, an Iraqi intelligence chief and US officials said Monday, according to The Telegraph.

Officials said the intelligence only emerged months later after reports from refugees and ISIS detainees in northern Syria.

Baghdadi's injuries were not considered life-threatening but they did mean he couldn't continue to command the daily operations of the group.

In June, Russia claimed its jets may have taken out the leader of the world's most notorious terror organisation in a May 28 airstrike.

"We have information and documents from our sources deep within the body of the terrorist group stating that the criminal al-Baghdadi is still alive with the help of his collaborators, " Al-Basri said.

The US-backed campaign is now focusing on the remaining pocket of territory controlled by ISIS - the stretch of desert along the Syrian-Iraqi border, known as Jazeera.

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Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is reportedly unable to walk unaided due to "fractures to the bones and legs", and is suffering from diabetes.

Russian Federation had claimed it killed the reclusive leader, who has not been seen in public since declaring Isil's caliphate from the Iraqi city of Mosul in July 2014, in an air strike on a meeting of senior Isil commanders near Raqqa on May 28.

In December that year, The Pentagon said it believed that the ISIS chief was alive, despite repeated efforts by the US -led coalition.

ISIS has since released various audio messages it claims to be of Baghdadi, most recently in September past year which appeared to contain reference to news events that showed it had been recorded since the Russian claims of his death.

He said most of the group's most senior commanders had been killed, leaving the jihadist group without any real leadership.

Al-Baghdadi made his last public appearance in 2014, one year after he escaped from al-Qaeda.

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