ERBIL — The leader of the so-called Islamic State (IS) Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is believed to be alive and hiding in the Middle Euphrates River Valley, between Iraq and Syria, a Pentagon official said on Thursday.
According to General Stephen Townsend, Chief of the Combined Joint Forces, the leader of the extremist group may be alive, despite the large number of reports suggesting the opposit in the past. Townsend added in his statement to Al Sumaria News, that if alive, Baghdadi is hiding somewhere in the Middle Euphrates River Valley betweeen Iraq and Syria, but this has not been proven yet.
The military official further explained that there have been indications that Baghdadi might still be alive, but his exact location remains unknown. However, he noted that the coalition forces continue looking for him, dead or alive.
In June, several media outlets suggested Baghdadi has been eliminated, after the Russian Defense Ministry announced he has presumably been killed in an airstrike carried out by the Russian Aerospace Forces. This news was never confirmed or proven to be accurate.