Airstrike injuries forced Baghdadi to cede control of Isis

Airstrike injuries forced Baghdadi to cede control of Isis

Islamic State terror group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was injured in an air strike in May 2017 and had to relinquish control of the group for up to five months, U.S. officials told CNN.

Still, American intelligence agencies believe "with a high degree of confidence" that al-Baghdadi was injured in the strike, CNN reported.

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

It quoted U.S. officials who said Baghadi had to relinquish command of ISIS for up to five months because of the injuries he sustained in the missile attack.

Moscow said Su-34 and Su-35 warplanes had attacked an IS military council meeting south of the group's de-facto capital of Raqqa in northern Syria on May 28 and that the United States was informed in advance of the raid.

He added that Baghdadi was hiding in the Jazeera region, a desert area of the central...

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights subsequently claimed it had "confirmed information" that Baghdadi has been killed, citing high-level ISIS commanders.

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"We have irrefutable information and documents from sources within the terrorist organization that al-Baghdadi is still alive and hiding", he said.

He suffers from "injuries, diabetes and fractures to the body and legs that prevent him from walking without assistance", said al-Basri.

Iraqi authorities last week published a list of "internationally wanted terrorist leaders" headed by the self-proclaimed ISIL "caliph", born in 1971, under the name Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim Ali Al Badri Al Samarrai.

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

"There have been isolated strikes by Russians in Raqqa, but as there's no timeline to it, we don't know if it's ours", a United States official told CNN.

In June 2017, Russia's Defense Ministry said it was investigating the possibility that Baghdadi was killed in a strike carried out by the Russian Aerospace Forces on May 28 in the southern suburbs of Raqqa.

It, however, lost all of its strongholds in both Arab countries previous year thanks to the Syrian army's counter-terrorism offensives, backed by Russian air cover, and Iraqi army troops, backed by pro-government paramilitary forces known as Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), also known in Arabic as Hashd al-Sha'abi.

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