Sheikh of al-Shammar Tribe had confirmed that ISIS caliphate Abu Baker al-Baghdadi was injured after the coalition’s raid on Tal Afar while he was still inside the town.
Media Official of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in Mosul, Ghyath al-Surji told Asharq Al-Awsat that ISIS militants launched an extensive attack on PMF front lines to the west of Tal Afar. Using armored vehicles, tanks, and bombed cars, and after six continuous hours of battling, ISIS was able to break siege and open a passage towards Baaj.
According to Surji, during the night, dozens of cars carrying ISIS leaders and their families escaped on the road dug by the militants from Tal Afar to Syria, through Baaj.
Sheikh Thair Abdul Karim Watban al-Jarba, of the Arab Tribe Shammar in west Mosul, said that about 50 cars carrying militants of ISIS’ special forces coming from Syria tried to enter Tal Afar a few days ago.
The convoy was led by Iraqi national Abu Jannat, Baghdadi’s deputy, and was on a mission to accompany Baghdadi himself and several leaders and their families. Yet, Iraqi Air Force attacked them near al-Houl area where all but two cars were completely destroyed.
Jarba told Asharq Al-Awsat that during the air strike, Abu Jannat was killed along with head of security in Tal Afar, Zeid al-Afari.
According to information retrieved by the sheikh, Afari was one of the most prominent militants in ISIS and he was buried in Baaj, a day after the air strike.
Jarba confirmed that Baghdadi was injured during a coalition air raid in Tal Afar, almost ten days ago, and that was why he hadn’t been able to leave the city....
bth: So we are seeing similar patterns to other locations ISIS has evacuated. Burning of town records, holding of hostages, a large-scale convoy heading through Baaj to Syria. In this case we have actually as rescue convoy trying to get in and then the convoys of families trying to get out. There is reference to a dug road but no other explanation and a 6 hour battle, one wonders where the air support was. Also this story seems to confirm that Baghdadi was wounded in a prior attack. There has been much speculation about this.