Islamic State's second-in-command killed in air strike

He is thought to be the second-in-command to terror supremo Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Iraqi state television has claimed that the second-in-command of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group has been killed in an air strike near the Syrian border.

Iraqi forces, backed by the global coalition, launched a major offensive in Mosul to drive IS extremists out their main stronghold, where al-Baghdadi proclaimed the caliphate on June 29, 2014.

Iraqi intelligence networks on Saturday said one of the Islamic State's highest-ranking leaders has been killed in an airstrike near the border with Syria.

The spokesman of the US-led anti-Islamic State coalition couldn't immediately be reached for comments.

Tens of thousands of refugees have been fleeing the city to escape the fighting.

It is unclear whether Baghdadi is still there. Citing military intelligence, Brig.

The US-led coalition against Islamic State said it was unable to provide confirmation at present. But U.S. and Iraqi officials believe he has left operational commanders behind with diehard followers to fight the battle of Mosul, and is now hiding out in the desert.

The last official report about Baghdadi was from the Iraqi military on February 13.

The report did not give the date of the air strike. Baghdadi has not officially appointed a successor.

  • Leroy Wright