The United States-led military coalition conducted airstrikes in the western Iraqi border town of al-Qaim against a group of what was assessed to be Islamic State leaders. Government sources and local witnesses claim that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, was critically wounded in the strikes.
“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,” United States Central Command said, as quoted by Al-Arabiya.
Sources from the local government tell The Daily Mail how an aircraft swooped over a meeting of senior Islamic State members and dropped its payload, resulting in the deaths of at least a dozen people. A local hospital in the area was reportedly overwhelmed with the volume of patients who were injured in the airstrikes, one of which was al-Baghdadi.
Islamic State fighters reportedly cleared the hospital so that the wounded could be treated and went around the town with a loudspeaker urging residents to donate blood to help the patients. It was also reported, but not confirmed, that the Islamic State’s local leader in the western Iraqi province of Anbar, as well as his deputy, were killed in the airstrikes.