Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi bombed again – status: unknown.

In a protracted series of bombing campaigns conducted by Western and Russian air forces, a convoy carrying the leader of Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has reportedly been hit by Iraqi forces. The news broke this morning and has resonated across various reputable news agencies such as:

Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/11/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-baghdadi-idUSKCN0S50KI20151011

The Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/isis-leader-abu-bakr-al-baghdadis-convoy-hit-by-iraqi-military-air-strikes-a6689626.html

The BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-34500402

The Caliph’s status is yet to be confirmed and similar strikes last year in which he was allegedly ‘seriously injured’ were sketchy at best. It may just be propaganda from the Iraq forces as they try to contain ISIS as best they can. Something tells me however, that there must be some truth behind it as the above mentioned outlets have also reported it.

If it transpired that Ibrahim (al-Baghdadi’s Caliph name) was dead, what would it mean for ISIS? The West has long pursued the policy of decapitation of terrorist and insurgent groups with the hope of forcing them to crumble from the top. This has not served them well with Islamist groups as the head is usually quickly replaced. It will be an interesting couple of days whilst it is worked out whether he has achieved martyrdom.

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