BAGHDAD: An Iraqi interior ministry official said the militant Islamic State (IS) group’s head Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is alive and being treated at a field hospital in Syria after being wounded in an air strike.
“We have irrefutable information and documents from sources within the terrorist organisation that al-Baghdadi is still alive and hiding” in Syria’s north-eastern Jazira region, said intelligence and counterterrorism department head Abu Ali al-Basri, quoted on Monday in the government daily As-Sabah.
IS retains a significant presence in the desert plains of north-eastern Syria’s Hasakeh province despite having lost most of its cross-border “caliphate” which once also covered a third of neighbouring Iraq.
Basri said that Baghdadi was suffering from “injuries, diabetes and fractures to the body and legs that prevent him from walking without assistance”. The IS chief had been wounded in “air raids against IS strongholds in Iraq”.
Published in Dawn, February 13th, 2018