Islamic State: Is al-Baghdadi killed by US airstrike in Syria?

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed following US-led airstrikes in Syria, according to reports.

A statement from Amaq news agency linked to Islamic State said: “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed by coalition air strikes on Raqqa on the fifth day of Ramadan.”

Another source claimed he died in Mosul, Iraq – another ISIS-held stronghold.

In a statement from Iraqi security forces, officers said: “Iraqi aircraft hit Baghdadi’s convoy as it was moving towards Karabla to attend a meeting of the ISIS terrorist leaders.”

The news comes after an Iraqi TV channel claimed last week that al-Baghdadi, who is believed to be in besieged ISIS ‘capital’ Raqqa, was hurt by a bomb released from a US-led coalition aircraft.

A spokesman of the coalition, Colonel Chris Garver, said in an email that he had seen the reports but had “nothing to confirm this at this time”.

Al Sumariya TV cited local sources in Iraq’s Nineveh province that Baghdadi and other Islamic State leaders were wounded on Thursday in a coalition air strike on one of the group’s command headquarters close to the Syrian border.

However this morning reports in the Indian and Iranian media cited a statement from the al-Amaq news agency, which has links to ISIS.

It is worth noting that this is not the first time news, with photos imitating Amaq style of publishing, about the killing of Baghdadi is released.