Iraqi sources reported that ISIL ringleader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is hiding in the Western deserts of al-Anbar province at the border with Syria.
The Arabic-language al-Ma’aloumeh news website quoted an intelligence source in Hashd al-Shaabi (Iraqi popular forces) command center in al-Anbar province as saying that according to the latest intel, al-Baghdadi has sheltered in a hidden tunnel in al-Husayniyat region in the Northern parts of the town of al-Ratbah in Western al-Anbar.
He added that the security forces are mulling operations to take control of the tunnel, and said that given the heavy deployment of security forces in al-Ratbah region near the border with Syria and closure of all roads, al-Baghdadi and the militants under his command cannot escape.
The source underlined that given the fact that the US fighter jets have not bombed the ISIL’s hideouts and tunnels in the region, the American forces are likely aware of his presence in al-Ratbah desert areas.
The speculations come after al-Baghdadi made his first appearance in April, after five years of absence, in a video in which he acknowledged the defeat of the terrorist group’s fighters in the battle for Baghouz in Syria.
The video was reportedly filmed earlier in April.
In recent years, Baghdadi’s death has been reported multiple times, however, the terrorist leader has re-emerged time and time again.
The Sun claimed, citing Zaid Hamid, who is a co-founder of the BrassTacks threat analysis think-tank, last month that al-Baghdadi is allegedly hiding in a distant region of Afghanistan.
“Note the style of the bedding and the pillows….Is he already in Afghanistan?” Zaid Hamid pointed out.