Did Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi just die for the 7th time?
On Tuesday the news of Islamic State chief and self professed Caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi being killed surfaced again. This is the second in less than a month and 7th time over all that the news of his death has cropped up.
It was reported that Baghdadi was killed during the fighting with the Iraq forces who recently took back Mosul in Iraq from the Islamic State. Last month, it was the Russians who said that one of their missiles may have killed the mysterious ISIS chief. The Russians however quickly added a few days later that the evidence of his death was not forthcoming.
The news of Baghdadi's death has been doing the rounds since 2016. At times rumoured and at times a strategic declaration. 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 the last clip released he spoke about how ISIS has lost territory. He called upon all his fighters to go to other countries and strike.