MOSUL, Iraq (Christian Examiner) – Iran's semi-official FARS News Agency is reporting that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed caliph of the Islamic State, has been poisoned and is close to death.
FARS cited an Iraqi news source for the report, which claimed a local source in Nineveh Province as saying there was "accurate information" that Baghdadi's food had been poisoned by "unknown individuals." He and other members of his band reportedly fell extremely ill.
Baghdadi has reportedly been evacuated from Mosul, the focus of an upcoming Iraqi offensive, to Syria under strict care. Early reports claimed that several of the terror leader's aides had died from the poisoning, but that has not been confirmed.
Baghdadi, who was born Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim, was likely already set to flee to Syria. According to FARS, he had given orders for ISIS soldiers in Mosul to destroy the city before it could fall into the hands of Iraqi forces. The report also said several ISIS leaders had already been gunned down by members of the "M" movement in Mosul.
"[The] letter M stands for the Arabic word, 'Moqavamah' (Resistance). The group is said to have been formed of dissident people who are opposed to the terrorist cult," FARS reported.
This is also not the first time Baghdadi has been close to death. He has been wounded multiple times by airstrikes (in 2014 and 2015).