U.S. envoy says whereabouts of Islamic State leader Baghdadi unknown

Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Washington ( – U.S. envoy for Syria Jim Jeffrey has said that the whereabouts of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi are unknown.

Speaking to a briefing at the State Department, Jeffrey said the U.S.-led coalition fight against Islamic State in Syria is not over, despite the terrorist group’s loss of its last territorial stronghold in the Arab country over the weekend.

“This is not the end of the fight against ISIS (an acronym for the Islamic State terror group). That will go on, but it will be a different kind of fight,” The New York Times quoted Jeffrey as telling reporters.

“ISIS has lost much of its capability to project terrorist power and to have a recruiting base in an area that it controls. So it’s a very, very important development,” he added.

He said most of the prisoners captured by the U.S.-based Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were Iraqis and Syrians. Those, he said, would be returned to their communities for “deradicalization”, reintegration, and in some cases, punishment.

He dismissed reports that the U.S.-coalition was considering an international tribunal to try the prisoners. “We’re not looking at that right now,” he said.


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