Iraqi security forces said Sunday that they have struck the convoy of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the so-called ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ (ISIL) takfiri group, in an air strike near the country’s border with Syria.
“The Iraqi air force carried out a heroic operation targeting the convoy of the criminal terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” Iraq’s security forces said in a joint statement.
“His health status is unknown,” it said.
Iraqi security sources have previously said that Baghdadi had been injured or killed in strikes in the past and the news were never denied, but Baghdadi hasn’t had appeared in any public arenas.
The statement was released by the “war media cell”, a structure which provides updates on the war against ISIL and speaks for the interior and defense ministries as well as the paramilitary Popular Mobilization forces.
The statement said Iraqi aircraft struck Baghdadi’s convoy as it was “moving towards Karabla to attend a meeting of ISIL terrorist leaders”.
Karabla is located on the Euphrates river barely five kilometers (three miles) from the border with Syria. The statement did not make clear when the strike was carried out.
It said the operation was conducted in coordination with Iraq’s interior ministry intelligence services and the joint operation command centre that includes military advisers from the US-led coalition.