IS chief Baghdadi trapped by Iraqi Army inside Mosul

The presence of Baghdadi in Mosul may complicate and prolong the battle for Mosul as his surviving adherents fight to the death to defend him.

By: PTI | London | Published:November 2, 2016 6:46 pm
File photo of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. File photo of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been trapped by Iraqi Army, which entered the terrorist group’s stronghold of Mosul for the first time in more than two years for a final assault, a report has claimed. The battle for Mosul, where the self-declared caliph of IS is believed to be hiding, is likely to end in a decisive defeat for the terrorist group, the Independent reported.

Fuad Hussein, chief of staff to Kurdish President Massoud Barzani, told the daily that his government had information from multiple sources that “Baghdadi is there and, if he is killed, it will mean the collapse of the whole [IS] system.”

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Baghdadi has kept himself concealed for the last eight or nine months according to Hussein, who added that the caliph had become very dependent on IS commanders from Mosul and Tal Afar, a city just to the west of Mosul. Other senior and better known figures in IS, particularly those from Syria and other countries, have been killed since their initial triumphs in the summer of 2014 when they took over much of northern Iraq and eastern Syria.

The presence of Baghdadi in Mosul may complicate and prolong the battle for Mosul as his surviving adherents fight to the death to defend him. If he is killed, IS would have to choose a new caliph in the middle of a battle, but no successor would have the authority and prestige of Baghdadi, the leader who surprised the world by establishing the caliphate after capturing Mosul in June 2014.

Hussein said “it is obvious that they will lose, but not how long this will take to happen.”

He said Kurdish Peshmerga forces had been impressed by the extraordinary number of tunnels that Isis had dug in order to provide hiding places in the villages around Mosul. Yesterday, Iraqi Special Forces advanced into Mosul, which once had a population of two million, seizing the state television on the east bank of the Tigris River that divides the city in half.

Hussein said the speed of the fall of Mosul would depend on many factors especially whether or not IS “is going to destroy the five bridges over the river.”

Iraqi troops entered Gogjali, a district inside Mosul’s city limits, and later the borders of the more built-up Karama district, according to Major General Sami al-Aridi of the Iraqi special forces.

“Daesh (IS) is fighting back and have set up concrete blast walls to block off the Karama neighbourhood and [stop] our troops’ advance,” General Aridi said.

The anti-IS offensive is dependent on US-led air strikes and the presence of US special forces.

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  1. I
    IML sood
    Nov 2, 2016 at 3:46 pm
    Farzi means fake and fake comments do not carry any weight.Why this moron waste time which he could use to become Asli,a real man instead of transgender.IS is doomed with his sympathisers all over the world,no escape now
    1. R
      Nov 2, 2016 at 3:59 pm
      Get him alive, if possible. A live trial will be a sensational phenomenon of this guy. Get the Yazidi slaves be the jury or something - true justice! Get him alive!
      1. R
        Nov 3, 2016 at 10:57 am
        I concur - but instead of handing him over for lynching, he should go through a worldwide trial. Maybe elements of all of those communities should play a part in the jury.
        1. D
          Nov 3, 2016 at 9:06 am
          no comment for secular muslims...w muslims are responsible for terrorism
          1. F
            farzi kumar
            Nov 2, 2016 at 3:21 pm
            I like the way last line is sneaked in the report crediting USA but everyone knows that what usa could not achieve in 1year, russia achieved it in less then 3 weeks of bombing. lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt;lesson learned :- IE stop being a pressutes
            1. H
              Himanshu Chaudhary
              Nov 2, 2016 at 5:05 pm
              Lets hope this is the beginning of the end for ISIS.
              1. K
                Kartaar Singh
                Nov 2, 2016 at 6:15 pm
                Sincere condolences in advance to all Sickulars, Liberals and Vote-bankers ! Let the chanting begin - 'Baghdadi hum sharminda hain...'
                1. K
                  Kartha MN
                  Nov 2, 2016 at 3:15 pm
                  This could be the opportune moment to eliminate the scourge called IS. The world could be a lot better without these devils
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