The US military can not confirm reports that the “self Styled’ Islamic State group leader may have been struck in an airstrike, but a Pentagon official suggested yesterday that lower-level figures may have been hit.
Speculation has swirled over the fate of jihadist leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi after local claims that he was killed or wounded in a strike by the US-led air armada targeting his group.
Baghdadi is the self-declared “caliph” of the radical group that has seized large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria.
“Obviously there´s a lot of conflicting reports out there on the fate of al-Baghdadi. But the bottom line from our perspective is we simply cannot confirm his current status,” Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steven Warren said.
The Pentagon has said strikes on Friday hit a gathering of IS leaders in the northern Iraq city of Mosul, prompting rumors of Baghdadi´s demise.
US officials are looking into the reports, but Warren suggested Monday that it was in fact lower “tactical-level leadership” who were hit.
“It was a 10-vehicle convoy which we had reason to believe may have consisted of ISIL battlefield commanders or battlefield leaders,” Warren had said about the strike on Friday.