Kurdish counter-terror chief claims Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is not dead

Kurdish counter-terrorism official claims Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is not dead

Lahur Talabany believes Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is not dead

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Kurdish counter-terrorism official has claimed that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is most likely alive and is in the south of Raqqa, the terror group's stronghold in Syria.

Lahur Talabany told Reuters: "Baghdadi is definitely alive. He is not dead. We have information that he is alive. We believe 99% he is alive."

Reports had claimed the Islamic State leader had been killed, after an airstrike was thought to have hit him.

The counter-terrorism official added: "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."

The rule of the Islamic State has now been ended in Mosul by Iraqi security forces and pressure is growing on the group in Raqqa.

But Talabany claims Isis is now changing its tactics and believes it will still take another three of four years to completely defeat the group.