Jihadi John ‘wounded’ in U.S.-Iraqi airstrike
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant who killed two British and American hostages in a series of videos posted online in the past months was wounded following a U.S. air strike in Syria, Britain’s Daily Mail reported.
The man who has come to be known as Jihadi John, believed to be British citizen, was attending a gathering of ISIS leaders in a town on the Iraqi-Syrian border, according to reports received by the British Foreign Office cited by the Mail.
“We are aware of reports that this individual [Jihadi John] has been injured, and we are looking into them,” a Foreign Office spokesman told the British daily.
While it was likely he was injured last week, the Foreign Office said they only received the reports in the past few days.
“We don’t have any representation inside Syria, and so it is difficult to confirm these reports,” the spokesman explained adding that they have “a number of sources of information coming in.”
However, the Mail reports, based on independent accounts, that Jihadi Jon did attend the gathering in al-Qaim in the Iraqi Anbar province, and was rushed to a hospital following the strike.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Central Command said they were unable to confirm or deny any details for security reasons.
American and Iraqi jets conducted the sortie, which killed more than 10 ISIS commanders and injured 40 others, and according to Al Arabiya News Channel, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was among those seriously injured.
The meeting was held in a heavily guarded location that was disclosed to a selected few. The Mail reported that more than 30 tribal leaders from across Syria and Iraq gathered to pledge allegiance to the ISIS leaders before being struck, the newspaper reports based on accounts from its Syria source.
The source added that the now senior ISIS figure, Jihadi John, who goes by the name Jalman al-Britani, was present.
A nurse where the militant was rushed reportedly identified him as the man “who slaughtered the journalists” before recounting that one of the names on the injured list was Jalman.
While the severity of his injuries remains unclear, the Mail reported that he, and al-Baghdadi were transported to the Syrian city of Raqa, seen as a stronghold for the militant group.
There, they were reportedly taken to the underground medical facilities of two former Syrian army barracks near the city in order to protect them from further attacks.