72nd Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra74860323292587 Tamil Nadu2587214316208 Delhi236459542615 Gujarat18117122121122 Rajasthan96526744209 Uttar Pradesh88705257230 Madhya Pradesh82835003358 West Bengal61682410364 Karnataka4063151453 Andhra Pradesh3971246468 Bihar3945174123 Telangana3020155699 Jammu and Kashmir260194631 Odisha238814169 Haryana2356105521 Punjab2301200044 Kerala149565112 Assam14862854 Uttarakhand9592225 Jharkhand6612965 Chhatisgarh5481211 Tripura4231730 Himachal Pradesh3401186 Chandigarh2972144 Puducherry88300 Manipur83110 Goa73500 Nagaland5800 Arunachal Pradesh3710 Meghalaya33131 Mizoram1410 Sikkim200
World Europe 05 Nov 2016 ISIS chief Abu Bakr ...

ISIS chief Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi escapes Iraqi Army's final Mosul assault: Britain

Published Nov 5, 2016, 7:22 am IST
Updated Nov 5, 2016, 7:22 am IST
Baghdadi had vacated the scene and is using internet media to encourage others to take part in violence, intelligence sources reported.
ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. (Photo: AP)
 ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. (Photo: AP)

London: ISIS's reclusive chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has escaped from the terrorist group's stronghold of Mosul as the Iraqi Army advanced for a final assault, British foreign secretary Boris Johnson said today. He said western intelligence sources believe Baghdadi is no longer in Mosul, The Guardian reported.

Baghdadi on Thursday broke his year-long silence and issued an audio recording, urging his jihadists to continue their fight to the end in Mosul, where he was believed to be hiding.


Johnson, in an unusual reference to intelligence, said Baghdadi's audio recording was "cruelly ironic since some of the intelligence we have suggests he had himself vacated the scene and is yet using internet media to encourage others to take part in violence."

The battle for Mosul was expected to end in a decisive defeat for the terrorist group, but Baghdadi's escape is likely to complicate matters for Iraqi and coalition forces.

Johnson said the recapture of Mosul, in the face of ISIS's "scorched earth campaign", would take time and represented "the coalition's greatest challenge", according to the report.

If Baghdadi, who surprised the world by establishing the caliphate after capturing Mosul in June 2014, were to be killed, ISIS would have to choose a new caliph, but no successor would have the authority and prestige of the reclusive leader.

There is widespread concern that, despite a year of planning, there is little agreement among the many ethnic groups in the region on the future political structure of Mosul or the surrounding Nineveh province.

Giving an update to British parliament on the fight against IS, Johnson also said efforts were under way to prevent sectarian violence being unleashed as the group was ousted from Mosul and surrounding towns such as Tal Afar.

He said 30,000 civilians had fled the city and the UN had plans in place for as many as 90,000 refugees. But he accepted there were also reports that citizens would be used as human shields to raise the human cost of Iraqi Army incursions deeper into the city.

Mosul is a multi-ethnic city, but the large Sunni population is fearful that liberation will lead to massacres by Shia militias determined to take reprisals against those who collaborated with ISIS.

The anti-ISIS offensive is dependent on US-led air strikes and the presence of US special forces.