The IS tipping point: Is Baghdadi dead?

psychoIn what could turn the tide of battle against the ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State’s charismatic chief, is reportedly dead.

Radio Iran broke this news on April 27. Earlier last month, the Guardian had reported that Baghdadi was slowly recovering after being severely injured in the US-led airstrikes in the Al-Baaj district of Iraq, close to the Syrian border.

His death comes on the heels of severe setbacks for the ISIS, with top Iraqi military commander Lieutenant General Abdul Amir al Shammari claiming recently that his forces had killed “more than 250 terrorists in the past few days” and retaken swathes of territory in Anbar province, where the extremist group launched a counter-offensive in recent weeks.

Baghdadi carried a $10 million bounty on his head, making him one of the most wanted men in the world.

However, experts say that while it is a major blow to the terrorist organisation that has captured the world’s attention owing to its brutal tactics, it should not be seen as the beginning of the end of ISIS. This is due to an efficient chain of command that is still functional enough to carry out operations. The self-proclaimed Baghdadi has two deputies, one for Iraq and the other for Syria, one of whom was killed last year. He had also appointed a ‘cabinet of advisers’ and a team of 24 regional governors, as reported by a British newspaper.

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