Report: US Airstrikes, Kurdish Offensive Push Islamic State 'Caliph' Into Syria

Report: US Airstrikes, Kurdish Offensive Push Islamic State 'Caliph' Into Syria

Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, the leader, or “caliph” of the Islamic State terror group is reportedly on the move from Iraq to Syria, according to a top Kurdish official. It was said that Baghdadi feared U.S. airstrikes were rapidly closing in on his position. The officials said the IS leader left his jihadi group’s headquarters in Mosul, Iraq roughly around August 10.

“According to our intelligence sources, Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi traveled to Syria as part of a convoy of 30 Hummer vehicles after fearing being targeted by U.S. airstrikes,” said Kurdish official Said Zinni.

Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi

Zinni said that many of Baghdadi’s chief confidants have been killed in the Kurdish offensive against the Islamic State, which has also been combined with US air support. The Kurdish official also said that the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have been successful in turning the tide of the war in favor of their forces. He said that not only Baghdadi, but many other top IS officials have been moved from Iraq to Syria. “Whoever has authorization from ISIL is transferred to areas near Mosul. Others are sent to the fighting in Syria after three days of military training at the Kindi training camp,” said Zinni.

The claim has not been independently verified by US officials.

Some recognize Baghdadi as a threat comparable to “the next Osama Bin Laden.” He is in charge of an Islamic State fighting force with an estimated twelve to twenty-thousand jihadi soldiers.

On Thursday, a US airstrike killed a top IS official: Press officer Abu Mosa, who promised that he would “raise the flag of Allah” in the White House.