31 Dec '16, 1am

US says ISIS chief Baghdadi alive, still leading militant group

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Pentagon said on Friday (Dec 31) it believes that Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is indeed alive, despite repeated efforts by the US-led coalition to take out the militant group leader. Baghdadi has kept a low profile, despite having declared himself the leader of a renewed Muslim caliphate, but last month released a defiant audio message urging his supporters to defend the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. It is not clear if he is in the besieged city, where he declared his caliphate in 2014 after the ISIS group seized territory covering much of eastern Syria and northern Iraq. "We do think Baghdadi is alive and is still leading ISIL and we are obviously doing everything we can to track his movements," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook told CNN. "If we get the opportunity, we certainly would take advantage of any opportuni...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/world/middle-east/us-says-isi...

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