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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Iraqi military: 13 Daesh commanders killed, Baghdadi fate unclear

Iran Press TV

Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:31PM

Iraqi Air Force says it has killed at least 13 commanders of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group during an airstrike that targeted a house in the country's west where the group's ringleader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was thought to be meeting with other extremists.

The military said in a statement on Monday that Iraqi F-16 warplanes had targeted the house in the border city of Qa'im in Anbar Province two days earlier. It also published the names of the 13 senior members of the terrorist group killed in the airstrike, but the list did not include Baghdadi.

Iraqi sources raised the possibility that the ringleader had been hit and injured in the Saturday strike.

The statement also noted that during the same wave of airstrikes, three other positions belonging to the Takfiri group had also been targeted in western Iraq, where 64 terrorists had been killed.

The military said Baghdadi had moved in a convoy from the Syrian city of Raqqah to Qa'im in Iraq last week to discuss with commanders "the collapse happening in Mosul and to chose a successor for him."

Baghdadi, whose real name is Ibrahim al-Samarrai, has been reported wounded several times in the past.

Daesh has been ravaging Iraq and Syria since 2014. The terrorist group has overrun territory in both countries and has declared the city of Raqqah in Syria and Mosul in Iraq as its so-called headquarters.

Over the past year, concerted pushes by Iraqi and Syrian forces, along with volunteer fighters, have caused the group's major turf to dwindle to a handful of cities and towns.

Iraqi forces have liberated the eastern half of Mosul and are in the middle of an offensive to retake the western rest, while reports from Syria say Damascus is contemplating an operation to put Raqqah back under the its command.

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