Airstrike injuries forced Baghdadi to cede control of Isis

Iraqi displaced people flee their houses due to the fighting between Iraqi forces and Isil at the old city areas western Mosul Iraq

The elusive ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was wounded in an airstrike in May a year ago and had to relinquish control of the dreaded terror group for up to five months, according to a media report today.

The government-run Al-Sabah daily quoted Abu Ali al-Basri, Iraq's intelligence and counterterrorism department chief, as saying that Baghdadi had sustained serious wounds on his legs. They said that the information was gleaned from Isis captives being interrogated after they were caught as the caliphate began to collapse.

"We have irrefutable information and documents from sources within the terrorist organisation that Al-Baghdadi is still alive and hiding with the help of his collaborators", al-Basri said.

According to Al-Basri, al-Baghdadi is still alive and living in the Syrian Desert close to the Iraqi border. Their assessment is based on reports from IS detainees and refugees in northern Syria that emerged months after the air strike.

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

As far back as 2011, the USA officially named Baghdadi a terrorist and offered a reward of up to $25 million for information leading to his capture or death.

US 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.

The jihadist chief had been wounded in "air raids against [ISIS] strongholds in Iraq".

Russian Federation claimed it killed Al Baghdadi in a late May air raid near Raqqa in Syria but later said it was still trying to verify his fate.

In December that year, The Pentagon said it believed that the ISIS chief was alive, despite repeated efforts by the USA -led coalition.

Back in June a year ago, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov said that it was "highly likely" that Baghdadi had been eliminated in an airstrike of the Russian Air Force on a militant command post in a southern suburb of the Syrian city of Raqqah in late May.

"There have been isolated strikes by Russians in Raqqa, but as there's no timeline for it, we don't know if it's ours", a U.S. official told CNN.

There have been multiple reports of al-Baghdadi's death over the years that were later proven to be false. "I do not know how much Baghdadi is day-to-day running the shop".

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