- Al-Baghdadi is reportedly being treated at a hospital in Syria
- He was wounded in an airstrike
- Reports say he is unable to walk due to fractured bones
- He is also suffering from diabetes
The leader of ISIS is alive and being treated at a field hospital in Syria after being wounded in an air strike, an Iraqi interior ministry official claims.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is reportedly unable to walk unaided due to "fractures to the bones and legs," and is suffering from diabetes.
This is far from the first time it has been claimed that al-Baghdadi has been either injured or killed, and there has yet to be official confirmation of either.
However, Iraq's intelligence and counterterrorism department head Abu Ali al-Basri says: "We have irrefutable information and documents from sources within the terrorist organization that al-Baghdadi is still alive and hiding" in Syria's northeastern Jazira region.
ISIS retains a significant presence in the desert plains of northeastern Syria's Hasakeh province despite having lost most of its cross-border 'caliphate' which once also covered a third of neighboring Iraq.
Basri said that al-Baghdadi was suffering from "injuries, diabetes and fractures to the body and legs that prevent him from walking without assistance."
The jihadist chief had been wounded in "air raids against [ISIS] strongholds in Iraq."
Iraqi authorities last week published a list of "internationally wanted terrorist leaders" headed al-Baghdadi, who was born in 1971 under the name Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai.
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Al-Baghdadi has barely been seen in any images or video footage outside of the terrorist group, despite ISIS's frequent releases of propaganda material.
In 2014, a video was released showing al-Baghdadi preaching during Friday prayer at a mosque in Mosul, Iraq, which was then held by ISIS.
In June 2016, Turkish media reported that al-Baghdadi had been killed in a U.S. airstrike in Raqqa, Syria, but this was never confirmed.
In December that year, The Pentagon said it believed that the ISIS chief was alive, despite repeated efforts by the U.S.-led coalition.
A few weeks later, in January 2017, local news reported that al-Baghdadi had been "critically injured" in air strikes in Al-Ba'aj, northern Iraq.
Come June, the Russian army said in a statement that the ISIS leader was likely one of the victims of a night-time air-raid on Raqqa in May, a time when the city was still the terror organization's 'de-facto' capital.
ISIS reportedly 'admitted' this in July, however, come September, an American military chief said the jihadist chief was still alive and probably hiding in eastern Syria's Euphrates Valley.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.