Yet Another Report Claims ISIS Leader Has Been Injured

Russ Read | Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter

Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has allegedly been injured in an air strike, according to an Iraqi security expert, marking yet another report claiming the so-called caliph has been injured.

Fadel Abu Raqif claimed in a Facebook post that the terrorist leader was injured in an airstrike targeting ISIS bases along the Syrian-Iraqi border. Baghdadi was taken across the border into Syria after sustaining the injury, according to Raqif. Iraqi media sources claimed that several other ISIS leaders were injured or killed in the strikes.


Reports of Baghdadi’s death or injury have become an almost regular occurrence since the start of Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S.-led mission against ISIS, in 2015. The ISIS leader was reportedly wounded in January, however, those reports were later found to be false. The ISIS leader was reportedly trapped in Iraq’s Nineveh province in mid-January, according to Iraq’s Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Units, though it is unclear if that claim was accurate.

An Iraqi air strike in October targeted a convoy allegedly carrying Baghdadi to a meeting. Eight senior ISIS leaders were reportedly killed when the Iraqis also hit the meeting itself, but Baghdadi was not among them.

In one of the more fantastical claims, The Sun reported in October that Baghdadi’s lunch had been poisoned, sicking the terror leader and three ISIS commanders. The British tabloid cited FARS news agency, a known Iranian government-backed media outlet.

Baghdadi reportedly suffered spinal damage from a coalition air strike in March 2015, incapacitating him for more than two months. Three sources told The Guardian that the wounds were so severe, they believed Baghdadi may never lead ISIS again.

The Iraqi Defense and Interior ministries reported in November 2014 that Baghdadi had been hit in an air strike, just one month after the coalition began its air campaign against the terrorist group.

The reclusive Baghdadi rarely appears publicly in any format. He was last seen in a recorded address on July 4, 2014, which was followed up by the release of four audio addresses.

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