'Baghdadi was injured in 2017 air strike'


ISIL leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi is alive but wounded and being treated in a field hospital in Syria, according to an Iraqi intelligence official.

In June 2017, Russian Federation said it had probably killed Baghdadi in an air raid near Raqqa, but US officials said they believed the IS chief was still alive and hiding in eastern Syria's Euphrates River Valley.

USA officials confirmed to CNN on Monday that while Baghdadi's injuries were not considered life-threatening they did mean he has not been able to continue to command the daily operations of the group.

Basri added that the Daesh's leader had sustained injuries in "air raids against" the group's "strongholds in Iraq".

On July 16 previous year and just two days after Mattis's remarks, al-Basri said that Baghdadi was alive and was hiding in Syria, Saudi Arabia's state television Al Arabiya reported.

On Monday, a senior official in the intelligence department of the Iraqi Interior Ministry said Baghdadi was still in the vast and sparsely populated desert area between Iraq and Syria, claiming he was living his final days as his health was deteriorating and suggested he was depressed. He suffers from "injuries, diabetes and fractures to the body and legs that prevent him from walking without assistance".

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 leader.

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However it offered no evidence to back up the claim and it was questioned by U.S. officials at the time.

Despite having lost nearly all of its territory in Iraq and Syria, ISIS still controls small areas of territory near the Syria-Iraq border.

It is unclear whether Baghdadi was hit in a targeted attack or if he was "collateral damage".

An unidentified American official was quoted saying, "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".

Despite several claims and counter claims, confusion looms large on the fate of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the most dreaded terrorist heading Daesh (IS), responsible for creating havoc in Syria and Iraq during last several years.

"Yes. I do not know how much Baghdadi is day-to-day running the shop", he said.