Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was branded a dead man by officials in Iran and Turkey has reportedly been spotted alive in Iraqi city Mosul. According to reports, Al-Baghdadi has been spotted “driving a white colour four-wheeler” while being accompanied by “four armed men. “A local source in Nineveh province, on Tuesday, said that the unrest that rocked the city of Mosul have forced the leader of… “Daesh” named Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to come out of his hiding place in one of the city’s neighbourhoods” Baghdad-based Alsumaria TV reported. There were also reports that Baghdadi was living in Raqqa, Syria the de-facto capital of ISIS.
Army forces in Iraq are currently bearing down on Mosul as ISIS is preparing for a long battle – reportedly digging a two-metre deep trench around the city’s perimeter as they prepare for the final assault. If Al-Baghdadi is within the city, his capture or death during an Iraqi army offensive would be a major victory for the US-led coalition. Meanwhile in neighbouring Syria, the fight against ISIS is being marred by proxy conflicts between the US and Russia – with Washington accusing Moscow of destroying a UN aid convoy killing 20.