'Baghdadi was injured in 2017 air strike'


Meanwhile, CNN, has on Monday, quoted USA officials as saying that IS chief was wounded in Raqqa forcing him to relinquish command of the armed group.

United States intelligence agencies have assessed with a high degree of confidence that the world's most wanted man was near Raqqa, Syria in May when the missile struck, the USA officials said. The assessment is based on reports from Islamic State detainees and refugees in Northern Syria that emerged months after the airstrike.

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

According to Al-Basri, al-Baghdadi is still alive and living in the Syrian Desert close to the Iraqi border.

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"We have irrefutable information and documents from sources within the terrorist organization that al-Baghdadi is still alive and hiding" in Jazira region, in Syria's northeastern province of Hasakah, Iraqi government daily al-Sabah quoted Abu Ali al-Basri, the head of the Iraqi interior ministry's intelligence and counter-terrorism operations service, as saying on Monday.

The militant chief was wounded in "air raids against IS strongholds in Iraq", he said.

This is likely the location of al-Baghdadi, according to US intelligence officials.

It's believed the airstrike occurred close to the date offered by the Russian military in June when they claimed to have killed or injured the ISIS chief.

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Who is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi?

At the time, ISIS was about to lose control of the Iraqi city of Mosul and its so-called capital Raqqa had been almost encircled by US-backed forces.

In recent years, there have been endless conflicting reports about Baghdadi's whereabouts and about whether he is even alive.

In 2014, a video was released showing al-Baghdadi preaching during Friday prayer at a mosque in Mosul, Iraq, which was then held by ISIS.

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The group and lone wolves inspired by it have claimed numerous terror attacks from the U.S. to the Philippines, via Europe and the Middle East.