British journalists form The Guardian cited sources who said Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been seriously injuerd in a March air strike in western Iraq, and his condition had made it very difficult for him to lead the organization.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State group, has been severely injured in a March 18 airstrike in western Iraq, the Guardian newspaper announced on Tuesday.
Citing several sources from Iraq, the report mentioned that although al-Baghdadi’s wounds are no longer life-threatening, his condition is keeping him away from being the terrorist organization’s leader.
The Guardian also added that “Baghdadi’s wounding led to urgent meetings of Isis leaders, who initially believed he would die and made plans to name a new leader.” The March strike targeted the al-Baaj a district of Nineveh, very close to the border with Syria, two separate sources told the newspaper.
Baghdadi was reportedly traveling in a convoy with other ISIS leaders. The three-car convoy that was hit by the U.S.-lead coalition forces, and at least three people were killed. It appears the coalition did not know Baghdadi was sitting in one of the cars. The coalition has been targeting ISIS leadership as a very important part of its campaign against the Caliphate..
It is not the first time that Baghdadi is reported to be seriously injured. In October 2014, after intense coalition attacks on ISIS’ major stronghold city of Raqqa in Syria, Baghdadi was supposedly injured. The ISIS leader was said to have left for Mosul in Iraq. News statements in November announced he may have been killed, but a few days later later ISIS released an audio tape they argue was of Baghdadi.
It is thought that on December 14, 2014, Baghdadi was nearly killed as the convoy he was travelling in was hit and one of his most important aides lost his life, but his car was not attacked. There have been other news from Syria in January that he was gravely injured in an airstrike, but Baghdadi was rarely seen in public even before the coalition begun its air campaign against ISIS.
Baghdadi has always been careful to tell little about himself and the places he visits, and even his own troops do not speak about meeting him face-to-face. The ISIS leader also appears to wear a mask when addressing his commanders and is sometimes called “the invisible sheikh”.
Image Source: Great News