They say cats have nine lives — and so it seems does Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Russian media reported last month that the mysterious ISIS leader was killed in an airstrike. But, of course, since the primary reporting came from Sputnik, nobody really believed it. The reporting, however, seemed to be confirmed by more credible sources, and the world was left to ponder what might happen to the terrorist group with their leader gone.
Now, a Kurdish official has told Reuters that “Baghdadi is definitely alive.”
“Baghdadi is definitely alive. He is not dead. We have information that he is alive. We believe 99 percent he is alive,” Lahur Talabany, a senior counter-terrorism official told the news organization.
The news is a rare bright spot for the terrorist organization, which has faced a series of withering setbacks in recent weeks. Last week, Iraqi forces liberated the city of Mosul from ISIS control. Under sustained assault, the Caliphate, which once stretched into wide swaths of Iraq and Syria has shrunken considerably. The ISIS capital in the Syrian city of Raqqa has been increasingly under siege as well. Most recently, the terrorist organization has reportedly set fire to numerous oil wells, as enemy soldiers have closed in.
The loss of territory however, has seemingly not diminished their transnational appeal. In 2016 and 2017, dozens of attacks in Europe and elsewhere were committed in their name.
[image via screengrab]