A member loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) waves an ISIL flag in Raqqa June 29, 2014. The offshoot of al Qaeda which has captured swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria has declared itself an Islamic “Caliphate” and called on factions worldwide to pledge their allegiance, a statement posted on jihadist websites said on Sunday. The group, previously known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as ISIS, has renamed itself “Islamic State” and proclaimed its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghadi as “Caliph” – the head of the state, the statement said. REUTERS/Stringer (SYRIA – Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) FOR BEST QUALITY IMAGE ALSO SEE: GF2EAAO0VU501 – RTR3WBPT
Mosul (IraqiNews.com) Islamic State militants have admitted defeat in the city of Mosul during sermons that also revived suspicions regarding the death of the group’s supreme leader.
Alsumaria News quoted a local source in Nineveh on Friday saying that Abu Baraa al-Mawseli, one of Islamic State’s top leaders and the assistant ruler of Tal Afar town, west of the province, delivered a sermon during the Friday prayer in which he “surprisingly” admitted defeat in Mosul, as the source put it.
Abu Baraa also declared Tal Afar as “a temporary headquarter for the Caliphate”.
At another sermon in the same town, Alsumaria News said Abu Qutaiba, another senior aide to IS supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, broke into tears when he came to mention the latter during the speech. “He mumbled a few words afterwards that suggested Baghdadi’s death,” the source said.
Iraqi security officials have not verified the two incidents, but have confirmed the collapse of the group’s rule in Iraq by losing Mosul.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared on Thursday Islamic State’s defeat in western Mosul Old City, the group’s last bastion in the city from where it first declared its establishment in 2014.
Baghdadi’s only appearance was in a video clip showing him making the sermon proclaiming the establishment of an Islamist “caliphate” in the Old City’s Grand Nuri Mosque, and never showed up again. Speculations and clashing reports about his whereabouts and survival have been plenteous. Russia said recently it was 100% of his death.