An Iraqi intelligence officer said Sunday that Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was still alive.
Last month, the Russian Defense Ministry media said that al-Baghdadi was believed to have been killed in an airstrike in Syria.
US officials, however, said they don’t have any proof confirming the Daesh leader’s death.
“Al-Baghdadi is still hiding in Syria in an area outside [the northern Syrian province of] Raqqah,” Abu Ali al-Basri, the head of the intelligence and anti-terrorism department at the Iraqi Interior Ministry, told the local Al-Sabah newspaper. He insisted that reports speaking about al-Baghdadi’s death were untrue.
The US offers a $25-million bounty for al-Baghdadi, who split from al-Qaeda in 2013. He was last seen in public in 2014 after his group captured Mosul when he announced the creation of the so-called caliphate in both Syria and Iraq.
Last week, Iraqi authorities announced the full liberation of Mosul, the last Daesh stronghold in northern Iraq.