Is one of the world’s most wanted militant alive? Veuer’s Nick Cardona (@nickcardona93) has that story.
BEIRUT – A media outlet linked to the Syrian military said Friday that the Islamic State group’s leader may be holed up in an IS pocket in the eastern town of Boukamal, which government forces and their allies recaptured this week before losing parts of it later.
The claim was denied by Syrian opposition activists who said the government is trying to make up for losses it suffered in Boukamal when large parts were retaken by the extremists again on Friday.
The whereabouts of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi are not known and if he is killed or captured it would be another blow for the organization that has lost more than 90 percent of lands it once controlled in Iraq and Syria where the group declared a caliphate in June 2014.
Al-Baghdadi’s whereabouts and the question of whether he is dead or alive have been a continuing source of mystery and confusion.
The Syrian Central Military Media said that, as Syrian troops and their allies conducted search operations in Boukamal, they “got the information” that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi might be “in one of the pockets” in the town. The report did not elaborate on how the soldiers heard about al-Baghdadi or what they were doing about the information.
Rami Abdurrahman, who heads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group, and Omar Abu Laila, a Europe-based opposition activist originally from Syria’s eastern province of Deir el-Zour both…