Isis Militants In Mosul 'Left To Die' By Baghdadi, Army Official Says
Islamic State (ISIS) militants have been left behind in Mosul by their leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi “to die,” an Iraqi counter-terror official told Al Arabiya.
Baghdadi’s whereabouts is unknown, Major General Maan al-Saadi said to the media outlet, expressing concerns about the possibility that the ISIS leader could be plotting further international terrorist attacks.
Baghdadi, whose real name is Ibrahim al-Samarrai, has been reported wounded several times in the past. His last known public message goes back to November, when he called on ISIS militants to defend Mosul.
Victories achieved by Iraqi forces since the Mosul battle began has made the ultra-hardline group “no longer feel they have a place,” according to Saadi.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the complete liberation of eastern Mosul on January 24 after more than 100 days of hard urban battles against ISIS.
The campaign to capture Mosul started on October 17, with air and ground support from a U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition.
The offensive to take Mosul, the largest city under ISIS control in either Iraq or Syria, is turning into the biggest battle in Iraq's turbulent history since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003.