NEW: 9 ISIS officials were killed in the convoy that included ISIS leader al-Baghdadi
NEW: A "large number" of the ISIS leader's bodyguards were killed
The fate of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is still unknown
Iraq’s military claims its air force struck a convoy in western Anbar province that included ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The fate of Baghdadi is unknown, as he was “carried away in a vehicle,” the military statement said.
But nine ISIS officials were killed in the airstrike, along with a “large number” of Baghdadi’s bodyguards, the Iraqi Interior Ministry said.
The slain officials included several military leaders and an adviser to Baghdadi, the ministry said.
“The Iraqi air force carried out a heroic operation by striking al-Baghdadi’s convoy while he was on his way to attend a meeting with senior ISIS leaders in Karabelah,” the statement said.
The site of the meeting was also struck, and several ISIS leaders were killed and wounded, the statement said.
The Pentagon said it can’t confirm the report.
Claims that Baghdadi has been hit in airstrikes have been made twice over the past year. In November, Iraqi officials said he had been wounded in an airstrike. In March, Iraq’s Interior Ministry said the Iraqi air force wounded Baghdadi in an airstrike on the Iraqi town of Al-Qaem.
Each time, audio recordings of Baghdadi showed up on social media within days after the airstrikes.
He is enemy No. 1 in the fight against ISIS, and this summer, U.S. intelligence officials said they believed Baghdadi was in the area of Raqqa, Syria, the de facto capital of the self-declared Islamic State. He was also still in charge of ISIS’ operations, they said.
CNN’s Susanna Capelouto, Holly Yan and Barbara Starr contributed to this report.