IS leader al-Baghdadi suffering from deteriorating health

Iraqi displaced people flee their houses due to the fighting between Iraqi forces and Isil at the old city areas western Mosul Iraq

Iraqi displaced people flee their houses due to the fighting between Iraqi forces and Isil at the old city areas western Mosul Iraq Credit EPA

There has been inconclusive evidence to prove whether Baghdadi is dead or alive, but several US officials told CNN that reports from ISIS detainees and refugees in northern Syria placed the world's most wanted man near Raqqa when a missile struck in May.

The claims were viewed with scepticism by USA intelligence at the time.

The assessment seems to have been based on reports from IS detainees and refugees in Syria, although it is not clear who carried out the airstrike in question.

He also said the self-styled "caliph" had recently been admitted to a hospital in the al-Jazeera desert for his "deteriorating psychological state" and for fractures and wounds in his legs that prevent him for walking unassisted.

It's believed the airstrike occurred close to the date offered by the Russian military in June when they claimed to have killed or injured the ISIS chief.

Al-Baghdadi is hiding in the desert in Syria, northeast of Deir Ezzor Province, he added.

Baghdadi has made only one public appearance, in July 2014, in the al-Nuri Mosque in Mosul, which was retaken by Iraqi security forces in June past year.

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Russian Federation had claimed it killed the reclusive leader, who has not been seen in public since declaring Isil's caliphate from the Iraqi city of Mosul in July 2014, in an air strike on a meeting of senior Isil commanders near Raqqa on May 28. Basri described Baghdadi's condition as "severe".

"We have information and documents from our sources deep within the body of the terrorist group stating that the criminal al-Baghdadi is still alive with the help of his collaborators, " Al-Basri said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights released a statement claiming that three ISIS leaders had told the group that Baghdadi was dead, Time magazine reported.

He said most of the group's most senior commanders had been killed, leaving the jihadist group without any real leadership.

The last public message by Al Baghdadi was in September a year ago.

The group and lone wolves inspired by it have claimed numerous terror attacks from the USA to the Philippines, via Europe and the Middle East.

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