ISIS leader dead, Iraqi minister says via Twitter

10 November, 14:21

    (ANSAmed) - BEIRUT, NOVEMBER 10 - Iraq's External Affairs Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said Monday on Twitter that the head of militant group ISIS Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead after he was injured in an airstrike.

    It was reported that the strike occurred early Saturday during a meeting of militants in Iraq's western Anbar province.

    On Monday morning, Iraq's interior ministry confirmed reports that al-Bagdadi was wounded in airstrikes at the weekend by Iraqi security forces near the town of Al Qa'im.

    Meanwhile, the US-led coalition against ISIS, also known as ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), conducted airstrikes on Saturday night targeting "what was assessed to be a gathering of ISIL leaders" near Mosul (over 420 kilometers north of Al Qa'im), according to a statement on Saturday released by Colonel Patrick Ryder of the US Command.

    Rumors had been swirling that perhaps al-Bagdadi had been wounded in Saturday's US-led coalition airstrikes. However, Ryder said he could not confirm reports that al-Bagdadi was wounded or present in the convoy that was destroyed.

    News of the airstrikes comes just days after US President Barack Obama on Friday approved sending up to 1,500 more troops to Iraq to train Iraqi soldiers and boost the fight against ISIS. Speaking on Sunday on the US television program "Face the Nation", President Obama said his troop decision "signals a new phase" in the fight against ISIS, one in which "we're now in a position to start going on some offense" with Iraqi ground troops.

    Obama confirmed that US troops would continue to stay out of combat for the time being. (ANSAmed).

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