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Home / World / The head of IS Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is said to have appeared for the first time in five years

The head of IS Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is said to have appeared for the first time in five years



In the video, a man claiming to be Baghdadi seemed to wear a casual outfit sitting on the ground next to an assault rifle. He said the "Battle for Baghouz is over" and referred to the last city occupied by IS in East Syria.

In the video, the man praised the recent bombings in Sri Lanka, which killed more than 250 people and wounded at least 500 on April 21.

He also referred to recent political events, including the election victory of Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel, the resignation of Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and the overthrow of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

The video was released Monday by the ISIS media wing al-Furqan. If authentic, it would be the first time Baghdadi has been seen since July 201

4, when he spoke at the Great Mosque in Mosul.

  After the reign of terror ISIS & # 39; Baghdadi pleads for relevance
ISIS, sometimes referred to as Daesh, has since published several audio messages claiming that they are from Baghdadi – most recently in August 2018, when the man admitted on admission that ISIS Lost groups. when ISIS lost its reach on the territory of Syria.

A US-led coalition spokesman who fought ISIS told CNN that the US is working to gauge the authenticity of today's video.

"We are currently working to independently confirm the validity of today's video reporting Abu Bakr al Baghdadi," said Col. Scott Rawlinson.

"We continue to support partners in their mission of a permanent defeat of Daesh, which includes the ability to finance operations, recruit new members and carry out violent extremist attacks."

In February 2018, several US officials said who had spoken exclusively with CNN that Baghdadi had been injured in an attack was airstrike in May 2017 and had to give up control of the terrorist group for up to five months due to his injuries. US intelligence estimates were based on reports of IS detainees and refugees in northern Syria, officials said.

According to US Senator Angus King, who had recently returned from a two-party delegation of the US military to the Middle East, Iraqi and Kurdish officials told him that there are still an estimated 15,000 to 30,000 ISIS fighters in Iraq and remained in Syria, although the coalition forces regained control of the territory.

ISIS can afford to spend itself if it is not controlled, and the importance of our continued operation to ensure that they can not break new ground, King said.

Barbara Starr and Zachary Cohen of CNN contributed to this story.


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