Islamic State chief Baghdadi almost certainly alive, says Kurdish official

After several reports that the Islamic State chief had been killed, a top Kurdish security official has said he was 99% sure Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was alive and based in the Syrian city of Raqqa.
File photo of the reclusive leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, making what would have been his first public appearance at a mosque in the centre of the Iraqi city of Mosul on July 5, 2014.(Reuters)
File photo of the reclusive leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, making what would have been his first public appearance at a mosque in the centre of the Iraqi city of Mosul on July 5, 2014.(Reuters)
Updated on Jul 17, 2017 06:45 PM IST
Copy Link
Sulaimania, Iraq | ByReuters

A top Kurdish counter-terrorism official said on Monday he was 99% sure that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was alive and located south of the Syrian city of Raqqa, after reports that he had been killed.

“Baghdadi is definitely alive. He is not dead. We have information that he is alive. We believe 99% he is alive,” Lahur Talabany told Reuters in an interview.

“Don’t forget his roots go back to al-Qaeda days in Iraq. He was hiding from security services. He knows what he is doing.”

Iraqi security forces have ended three years of Islamic State rule in the Iraqi city of Mosul, and the group is under growing pressure in Raqqa – both strongholds in the militants’ crumbling self-proclaimed caliphate.

Still, Talabany said the IS was shifting tactics despite low morale and it would take three or four years to eliminate the group.

After defeat, the IS would wage an insurgency and resemble al-Qaeda on “steroids”, he said.

The future leaders of the IS were expected to be intelligence officers who served under former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, the men credited with devising the group’s strategy.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Severodonetsk, with a pre-war population of just over 100,000 people, is a key goal of the Russian military which has made capturing the eastern Donbas region a key objective. (Photo by Yasuyoshi CHIBA/AFP)

    At least 12 killed in Russian shelling of Severodonetsk: Governor

    Severodonetsk, with a pre-war population of just over 100,000 people, is a key goal of the Russian military which has made capturing the eastern Donbas region a key objective. The eastern industrial centre and its sister city Lysychansk make up the last pocket of Ukrainian resistance in the smaller of the two regions comprising the Donbas war zone.

  • US President Joe Biden (REUTERS)

    Joe Biden welcomes Sweden & Finland's NATO bids, promises full US backing

    US President Joe Biden on Thursday welcomed the applications made by Sweden and Finland to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

  • Monkeypox falls in the same category of viruses as smallpox but it is considered less severe and experts also highlighted that the chances of infection are low.

    Monkeypox found in US and UK: What is it and should you be worried?

    A case of the rare and potentially dangerous monkeypox has been confirmed in the US after infections were reported across Europe. The infected man had recently traveled to Canada and is now receiving treatment in hospital, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Department of Health said the case poses no risk to the public. Health officials in Canada are investigating up to 13 cases in Montreal, Radio-Canada reported.

  • The palms of a monkeypox case patient from Lodja, a city located within the Katako-Kombe Health Zone, are seen during a health investigation in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1997. 

    Monkeypox: List of nations where this rare disease has been identified so far

    Cases of monkeypox have been identified in European and American countries, giving health authorities another reason to worry about amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic that is in its third year now. Health officials have stressed that the risk to the general population is low. Most human cases have been in central and west Africa, where the disease is endemic. One person in Sweden has a confirmed case of monkeypox, health authorities said.

  • Police officers help rescue people from the rubble after an air strike, during Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Bakhmut, Donetsk Region, Ukraine.

    Ukraine: Top US, Russian generals talk for first time since war | Key points

    The fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces continues for nearly three months, with no peace in sight. On Thursday, top US and Russian generals spoke on telephone for the first time since the Ukraine invasion began. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley spoke to his Russian counterpart General Valery Gerasimov and discussed security-related issues, AFP reported. Here are the top developments that unfolded in battleground Ukraine.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, May 20, 2022