Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi can’t seem to stay confirmed dead or alive, but the latest report is that the ISIS leqder was wounded near Raqqa during an airstrike in May last year and had to relinquish control of the terrorist group for awhile, sources told CNN.
There had been persistent rumors of Baghdadi's death in recent months, and Russia's military last year said it was seeking to verify whether he had killed in the May air strike.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights released a statement claiming that three ISIS leaders had told the group that Baghdadi was dead, Time magazine reported.
There has been inconclusive evidence to prove whether Baghdadi is dead or alive, but several U.S. officials told CNN that reports from ISIS detainees and refugees in northern Syria placed the world’s most wanted man near Raqqa when a missile struck in May.
According to the report, his injuries were not life threatening but they did render him incapable of commanding the group.
One anonymous U.S. official dismissed Russia’s claims that Baghdadi had been killed in the airstrike while another noted that Baghdadi had since been able to return to his leadership role, although he added that he did not know at what capacity “Baghdadi is day-to-day running the shop.”
The Guardian has also said Baghdadi remains alive, noting that three intelligence agencies have confirmed he was seriously wounded in the airstrike while additional sources claimed he had spent several months recovering in Baaj.
“He’s on his last legs,” an anonymous regional official said, per The Guardian.
“We will get him this year. Finally.”
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