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IS chief Baghdadi likely still alive: USA general

05 Septembre 2017

The leader of the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is likely still alive, according to a top US military commander who cited new intelligence. "And we don't get 20 questions with every action that happens on the battlefield and every action that we take". "Top-tier commanders from ISIL who are present in Deir az Zor province have confirmed the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, emir of the Islamic State group, to the Observatory", Syrian Observatory of Human Rights director Rami Abdulrahman said in July.

"When we find him, I think we'll probably just try to kill him first", Townsend said.

The Russians then said they were seeking to verify reports they had killed him during an air strike in Syria in May. "I don't think he's dead".

The Lieutenant General added: "The last stand of ISIS will be in the Middle Euphrates River Valley". The U.S. -led coalition says it was not a party to the deal. "We've heard all kinds of reporting".

ISIS has continued to lose territory in both countries, with the northern Iraqi city of Mosul liberated last month, the northwestern city of Tal Afar liberated on Thursday after just two weeks, and Raqqa still under siege from a Kurdish-Arab coalition backed by US -led coalition airpower.

Baghdadi, who has a $25m bounty on his head, has been reported dead a number of times in the a year ago. "This time, we surrounded Tal Afar and launched airstrikes against IS and managed to reduce the extremists' fighting capability by more than 90 percent", Brigadier General Yahya Rasool added. Assessing his 12 months in command of the US-led coalition, Townsend said more tough fighting remains but signs are positive.

However, the militants still control areas on both sides of the Syrian-Iraqi border. The U.S. has since offered a $25 million reward for information leading to his capture or death.

He has not been seen in public since his appearance at the Grand al-Nuri Mosque in Mosul in 2014, when he proclaimed himself the leader of the "IS caliphate". "I don't think it's worth going to the trouble of trying to capture him".

IS chief Baghdadi likely still alive: USA general