News has emerged that Abu Bakr al-Bhagdadi, the chief of the Islamic State may have been in a Russian air strike in Raqqa, Syria. The Russian defence ministry in a statement released on Sputnik said it was investigating if its air strike had killed the self-professed Caliph.
Now let us wait for that confirmation and go on and find out how many times Bhagdadi had died in the past. At times they were rumours and at times it was a strategic declaration. The news of his death came up so many times that he was very often referred to as the cat with nine lives
The many times that Bhagdadi died:
News of his death began in the early half of 2016. This was the time that the international forces had begun targeting IS camps strongly in Iraq and Syria. It was at that time news of him being dead started doing the rounds. The report stated that someone from his inner-circle had poisoned him.
The Iraq agencies along with their counterparts in Syria verified the information, but it turned out to be false. They realised that it was a strategy on part of the man who calls himself Caliph to turn down the heat on him.
The next time the news of his death surfaced was in June 2016. It was said that he had been killed in an air strike by the US. There was no independent confirmation of the news at that time, but a few weeks later the information was declared false.
Between January and June 2017, the news of his death has cropped up at least four times.
In January reports of him being killed had cropped up. It was said that he was killed in the bombing at Syria. However the news turned out to be false. Once again in March there were reports of his death, but the Pentagon clarified that h was alive.
In April it was stated that he may have died after being wounded badly. It was said that he was hit by the US forces. No confirmation of his death came out after that. Just a week ago yet another report of his death at the hands of US forces cropped up. However that news circulating in the British media turned out to be a hoax. The latest is the one on June 17 where the Russians have claimed to hit him. It is yet to be seen whether that information is correct or not.
There have been no video messages from Bhagdadi in the recent past. Only audio clips of the man speaking have been released. In most of the clips released he speaks about how ISIS has lost territory. He called upon all his fighters to go to other countries and strike.
He also said that while the foreign fighters must return and carry out attacks, the locals should detonate themselves. There are ample indications that Bhagdadi has gradually become a spent force. It is true that he is losing territory. While this is good news, the bad part of it is that the ideology set by him has spread across the world.