ISIL leader 'wounded' in coalition airstrike
A Pentagon official confirmed the U.S.-led airstrikes on ISIL leadership but they cannot confirm whether Baghdadi was hit.

A spokesman for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, said Sunday the militant group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was wounded in an airstrike conducted by the U.S.-led coalition forces Friday.

"Do you think that the Caliphate would end just because the caliph is dead," Mohammad al-Adnani, the spokesman, wrote in a Twitter account Sunday, saying Baghdadi was in good health condition. He did not elaborate further.

There was no independent confirmation whether Baghdadi was hit or wounded.

A Pentagon official told The Anadolu Agency that the U.S.-led coalition struck a series of targets on ISIL leaders in northern Iraq near Mosul but it is yet to be confirmed whether Baghdadi was there.

"I can confirm that coalition aircraft did conduct a series of airstrikes Friday evening in Iraq against what was assessed to be a gathering of ISIL leaders near Mosul, destroying a vehicle convoy consisting of ten ISIL armed trucks," said Commander Elissa Smith, a Defense Department spokeswoman, said in an email.

There were several reports claiming that Baghdadi was either killed or fatally wounded in the U.S. airstrike.

However, Smith said: "We cannot confirm if ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was among those present."

The U.S. has previously announced that the airstrikes will target the terror group's leadership, control and command ability as well as heavy military assets.

"This strike demonstrates the pressure we continue to place on the ISIL terrorist network and the group's increasingly limited freedom to maneuver, communicate and command," Smith said.

Since mid-June, fighting in Iraq has pitted the Iraqi army and Kurdish peshmerga forces against ISIL militants, who have taken control of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city. ISIL is currently in control of large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria.

The U.S. is leading an international coalition, which includes France, Germany, and Saudi Arabia, and has carried out numerous airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq and Syria.

According to the U.N., an estimated 1.8 million citizens have been internally displaced this year throughout Iraq.

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Last Modified: 2014-11-10 20:11:03
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