The spokesman for the Popular Mobilization Forces group League of the Righteous (aka Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq) has stated that Islamic State “caliph” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has escaped Tal Afar, Iraq after escaping Mosul earlier this month. It is currently unconfirmed.
Iraqi political analyst Falah Alsaad tweeted the statement by Jawad Tlabawi earlier today:
The translation from Arabic reads:
Jawad Tlabawi: Our data attests to the escape of terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of Tal Afar to an unknown destination.
Tal Afar is about 40 miles west of Mosul, the current site of a massive military undertaking to wretch the second largest city in Iraq from the clutches of the Islamic State. ISIS captured the city in June 2014.
In early November, the Iraqi National Army confirmed that al-Baghdadi had not only escaped Mosul, but that he had also taken 150 families hostage with him to protect him from airstrikes.
According to Reuters, al-Baghdadi has become increasingly paranoid about his survival. They write that the “caliph” rarely emerges from underground bunkers and that he sleeps in a suicide vest.