EVIL Islamic State (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is trapped in the Iraqi city of Mosul as allied forces move in for the kill, according to eyewitness reports.
ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is reportedly trapped in Mosul
The barbaric terrorist leader was spotted for the first time in over a year this week as he left his hideout to attempt to quell growing riots on the streets of his final stronghold.
Iraqi forces to the south and Kurdish Peshmerga to the north have completely surrounded the city in northern Iraq, cutting it off from the rest of ISIS’ shrinking ‘Caliphate’.
There had been speculation that reclusive al-Baghdadi had fled Mosul or even been killed after he disappeared off the radar following the capture of the Mosul in the summer of 2014.
But the news that he is still in the city will raise the hopes of allied forces that they can soon capture the man seen as the figurehead of radical Islam and bring his reign of terror to an end.
The evil leader of the so-called Caliphate was spotted in the northern Iraqi city
A source inside Mosul told the independent Iraqi TV network Alsumaria that al-Baghdadi was spotted in a white 4×4 truck, flanked by four armed men, after coming out of hiding.
They said: “In Nineveh province on Tuesday, due to the unrest that has rocked Mosul, the ISIS caliph was forced to come out from his hideout.”
The last time al-Baghdadi was seen in public was two years ago, when he delivered a sermon at a mosque in Mosul proclaiming the creation of his so-called Caliphate.
Since then he is believed to have been hiding in amongst civilian populations to avoid detection, with rumours that he was living in either Mosul or ISIS’ de facto capital Raqqa, in Syria.
Turkey and Iran have both previously said al-Baghdadi was dead following speculation that he was killed by a US airstrike on Raqqa back in June of this year.
But ISIS never confirmed the reports of his death on their official media channels, as they have done with other senior figures and commanders.
And the sightings of the world’s most hated man will buoy Iraqi troops who are preparing to attack southern Mosul and drive ISIS fighters out of the city, which is Iraq’s second largest.
If captured he could be subjected to the death penalty like former dictator Saddam Hussein, who was hanged following the 2003 invasion for crimes against his own people.
Al-Baghdadi’s ISIS have been guilty of committing horrendous atrocities including genocide, mass murder, rape and bringing back slavery on an industrial scale.
US officials have hinted that an attack on Mosul could be “imminent” after Barack Obama met the Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi to talk about its liberation earlier this week.
However the total capture of city is expected to be a long and bloody process, with ISIS having had more than two years to dig in and prepare their defences.
The brutal terror group is known for using civilians as human shields and booby trapping streets and buildings to slow down attackers, as it did in the city of Fallujah which was recaptured by the Iraqi army earlier this year.
At one point ISIS controlled vast swathes of the Middle East and north Africa, stretching from Afghanistan in the east to Libya and Nigeria in the West.
But US and Russian airstrikes coupled with attacks by Kurdish forces and a resurgent Iraqi army have severely depleted the terrorists’ resources, and the group is now believed to be close to collapse.