After its collapse in Mosul, Daesh has announced that the Takfiri terror group’s leader Ibrahim al-Samarrai, aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, “has been killed,” a local source in Iraq’s Nineveh province says.
The local source told Iraq’s al-Sumaria news website Tuesday that Daesh announced the death of its leader in a brief statement released via the terrorist group’s media outlet in the center of Tal Afar city, situated 63 kilometers west of Mosul, without providing further details.
The source, who asked not to be named, added that the group said it would name a successor to Baghdadi soon.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group affiliated to Syria’s foreign-backed opposition groups, has also said that it has “confirmed information” that Baghdadi has been killed.
Following the announcement by Daesh, another local source revealed that an internal revolt and infighting had broken out within Daesh ranks in Tal Afar.
The source added that a wide-scale arrest campaign was launched against supporters of Baghdadi.
According to the report, a curfew was also declared in most of the city.
No Iraqi official has confirmed the report yet.
The report comes weeks after Russia said it was “highly likely” that the Daesh leader had been killed in an airstrike carried out by the Russian Air Force in Syria’s Raqqah city in May.
On Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi formally declared victory of the country’s forces over the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group one day after the country’s military and Popular Mobilization Forces took full control of the northern city.
Members of the Iraqi forces celebrate in the Old City of Mosul on July 10, 2017 after the government’s announcement of the “liberation” of the embattled city from the Daesh terrorist group. (Photo by AFP)
Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer fighters from the PMU have made sweeping gains against Daesh since launching the Mosul operation on October 17, 2016.
The Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January after 100 days of fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19.
An estimated 862,000 people have been displaced from Mosul ever since the battle to retake the city began eight months ago. A total of 195,000 civilians have also returned, mainly to the liberated areas of eastern Mosul.
By Michelle Andja