MNA International Desk: A top Kurdish counter-terrorism official was 99 % sure that Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was almost certainly alive and located south of the Syrian city of Raqqa as he said on Monday, in response to reports that Baghdadi had been killed.
Lahur Talabany told Reuters in an interview ,”Baghdadi is definitely alive. He is not dead. We have information that he is alive. We believe 99 percent he is alive”.
“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,” he added.
Iraqi security forces have ended three years of Islamic State rule in the Iraqi city of Mosul, and the group is under growing pressure in Raqqa – both strongholds in the militants’ crumbling self-proclaimed caliphate.
Still, Talabany said Islamic State was shifting tactics despite low morale and it would take three or four years to eliminate the group. After defeat, Islamic State would wage an insurgency and resemble al-Qaeda on “steroids”, he said.
The future leaders of Islamic State were expected to be intelligence officers who served under former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, the men credited with devising the group’s strategy.
The Islamic State (IS) has been actively driving the terrorist activities in the middle-eastern zones of Iraq and Syria.