Baghdad, June 12: Officials and experts report that the Islamic State (ISIS) a terrorist organisation leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is on the edge of losing the two main centres of his ‘Caliphate’ but even though he is on the run, it may take years to capture or kill him. Also Read - IPL 2021: Controversial Bangladeshi Author Taslima Nasreen Faces Backlash For Her 'ISIS' Comment on CSK's Moeen Ali Following Jersey Row
Officials also reported that IS fighters are close to defeat in Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria. It is said that Iraqi forces have retaken much of Mosul, the northern Iraqi city the hardline group seized in June 2014 and from which Baghdadi declared himself “caliph” or leader of all Muslims shortly afterwards. Raqqa, his capital in Syria, is nearly surrounded by a coalition of Syrian Kurdish and Arab groups. Also Read - Twin Suicide Attack Kills 23, Injures Over 50 in Central Baghdad Market
“In the end, he will either be killed or captured, he will not be able to remain underground forever,” said Lahur Talabany, the head of the counter-terrorism at the Kurdistan Regional Government, the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq. “But this is a few years away still,” he told Reuters. Also Read - Two Afghan Women Supreme Court Judges Shot Dead in Kabul
One of Baghdadi’s main concerns is to ensure those around him do not betray him for the $25 million reward offered by the United States to bring him “to justice”, said Hisham al-Hashimi, who advises Middle East governments on Islamic State affairs.
“With no land to rule openly, he can no longer claim the title caliph,” Hashimi said. “He is a man on the run and the number of his supporters is shrinking as they lose territory.”
Baghdadi is a 46-year-old Iraqi who broke away from al-Qaeda in 2013, two years after the capture and killing of the group’s leader Osama bin Laden.
He grew up in a religious family, studied Islamic Theology in Baghdad and joined the Salaafi jihadist insurgency in 2003, the year of the US-led invasion of Iraq. He was caught by the Americans who released him about a year later as they considered him then as a civilian rather than a military target.