U.S. warplanes targeted Islamic State leaders in airstrikes in a convoy near Mosul in Iraq this weekend, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command told CNN Saturday.
Image made from video posted on a militant website purports to show the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. (Image source: AP/Militant video, File)
But Colonel Patrick Ryder didn't confirm if the organization's supreme leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was in the convoy. Tribal sources said Saturday that al-Baghdadi was “critically wounded” in the airstrike, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.
"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," Ryder said in a statement, using an acronym for the Islamic State.
The Islamic State group has proclaimed al-Baghdadi as caliph, or supreme leader, of the vast areas of territory in Iraq and Syria under its control and demanded that all Muslims pledge allegiance to him.
Al-Baghdadi, an ambitious Iraqi militant believed to be in his early 40s, has a $10 million U.S. bounty on his head. Since taking the reins of the group in 2010, he has transformed it from a local branch of Al Qaeda into an independent transnational military force, positioning himself as perhaps the preeminent figure in the global jihadi community.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
(H/T: The Huffington Post)