Islamic State Confirms Top Leader Injured in U.S. Airstrikes

Islamic State Confirms Top Leader Injured in U.S. Airstrikes

WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 (UPI) — An Islamic State spokesman has confirmed that U.S. airstrikes injured IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Using an account believed to be operated by Mohammed al-Adnani, the spokesman tweeted confirmation that Baghdadi had been injured and that he wished him “a speedy recovery.”

U.S. officials have not said whether Baghdadi was in the convoy that was targeted in a Friday airstrike against IS, also known as ISIL, leaders.

“I can confirm that coalition aircraft did conduct a series of airstrikes yesterday evening in Iraq against what was assessed to be a gathering of ISIL leaders near Mosul, destroying a vehicle convoy consisting of 10 ISIL armed trucks,” U.S. Central Command spokesman Col. Patrick Ryder said Saturday.

In response to speculation that Baghdadi had been killed in the operation, Britain’s Chief of the Defense Staff, Gen. Nicholas Houghton, said, “I can’t absolutely confirm that Baghdadi has been killed,” adding that such confirmation would take “some days.”

In an unusual public statement, Iraq’s Ministry of Interior said the Iraqi air force wounded Baghdadi and killed some IS senior leaders in an airstrike Saturday on the Iraqi town of Al-Qaem, CNN reported.