As with most high-profile militant leaders, ISIS Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has had his share of claimed deaths and claimed mortal woundings at the hands of various forces he is at war with. His fate is once again uncertain tonight as the Iraqi military claims it hit an ISIS convoy in which he was traveling.
According to a statement from the military, Iraqi forces struck the convoy in the far west of the Anbar Province, and that Baghdadi was heading to a meeting in Karabelah. They claim the meeting itself was also attacked, killing several unnamed ISIS officials.
Iraqi officials say they are uncertain of Baghdadi’s condition, and that he was “carried away” from the site of the strike in a vehicle. The Pentagon also issued a statement saying they can’t confirm any reports of Baghdadi being killed or even wounded in the attack.
Baghdadi’s oft-reported demises have raised a lot of questions about how much his death or incapacitation would really matter to ISIS. Analysts have suggested ISIS has a very “deep bench” of potential leaders, which explains why a large number of slain ISIS leaders haven’t amounted to much.