Diyala (IraqiNews.com) Islamic State’s so-called “Diyala State” has confirmed news about the death of the group’s supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, supporting reports about an earlier declaration from Nineveh.
A local source in Diyala province told Alsumaria News that the extremist group disseminated a brief statement declaring Baghdadi’s death, and also warning of potential sedition and a threat to the “sustainability of Jihad for the Caliphate”.
The reported statement supports an earlier one in Tal Afar, Nineveh.
Alsumaria News quoted a local source in Tal Afar Tuesday saying that IS made a brief statement in which it confirmed Baghdadi’s death . It said that infighting among Baghdadi’s loyalists and opponents broke out, prompting the group to carry out wide-scale arrests and to impose a curfew at most of the town.
No official Iraqi authority confirmed the reported statement.
Since Iraqi government forces, backed by a U.S.-led coalition, launched a major offensive in October to retake Mosul, IS’s largest bastion in Iraq, clashing speculations around Baghdadi’s survival were plentuous. Russia said it was 100% sure Baghdadi was killed in a strike in Syria last month, but its declaration was met with skepticism from the United States and other countries.
On Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared final victory over Islamic State members in Mosul, saying the recapture of the city was an end of the self-styled “caliphate” declared by Baghdadi in 2014.