Nominating successor to Baghdadi raises serious conflicts among IS militants

ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Mosul ( Conflicts among Islamic State fighters have been reported after nominating Abu Hafsa al-Mawsely, the group’s deputy commander of the “Nineveh State”, to succeed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, intelligence sources in Mosul said.

IS leaders and fighters are witnessing conflicts and divisions after the group’s shura council nominated ِAbu Hafsa to succeed Baghdadi, the sources said on Sunday.

Abu Hafsa is known to be one of the violent members and a senior legislator of the group. He occupied several important military and administrative positions within the group.

The leaders, according to the sources, were divided between supporters and opponents to nomination of abu Hafsa.

Chief of staff at the Kurdistan Region Presidency (KRP) Fuad Hussein previously revealed information about the way through which Baghdadi could have escaped from Mosul.

In an interview earlier this month with the Independent, Hussein said Baghdadi escaped from Mosul two months ago when the road to the west was opened in the wake of a fierce attack launched by the militants. IS “used 17 suicide car bombs from Mosul and some of their units from Syria to clear the road leading out of Mosul for a few hours.”

Baghdadi addressed his supporters at areas that IS controls, a local source from the province said in February. Baghdadi urged fighters to flee urban areas and resort to mountains after admitting defeat to U.S.-backed Iraqi forces and militias fighting to retake the city of Mosul in his ‘farewell speech’.

Baghdadi’s exact whereabouts have been unknown for long time. In June 2014, Baghdadi was declared “the caliph” and “leader for Muslims everywhere”.

Iraqi forces have made remarkable gains after a new offensive started in February to retake western Mosul. The eastern side was recaptured from IS in January.

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