According to an Iraqi source close to the Islamist militant groups, Al-Baghdadi sustained serious and life-threatening injuries to the point that Islamic State commanders thought he would not survive and held urgent meetings to discuss his succession.
Al Bagdadi is currently believed to be recuperating slowly. Yet, he remains unable to make operational or strategic decisions of the extremist organisation.
Last year, the most wanted man in the world escaped death, when US jets attacked a two-car convoy on the outskirts of Mosul. One of his close aides was killed when a rocket hit one of the cars. Al Baghdadi was not in the car blown up.
Al Baghdadi spends much of his time in al-Baaj, about 200 miles west of the Isis stronghold of Mosul because the Americans did not have much cover there.
Furthermore, Al-Baaj, a Sunni tribal area, has long remained outside of state control even under ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s regime, and was considered a safe haven for jihadists from 2004 onwards.
In recent months, the US-led coalition intensified air strikes targeting Isis leadership as Baghdadi’s deputy, Abu Muslim al-Turkmani, and the head of the group’s military operations in Iraq were both killed in air raids.