ERBIL — A Hezbollah-run media unit said on Friday Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakir al-Baghdadi was in the Syrian border town of Albu Kamal during the recent operation conducted by the Syrian army and the militias loyal to Assad to liberate it.

The source did not mention what had happened to Baghdadi, give further details or identify its sources, according to Reuters.

The US-led Global Coalition against IS said it had no “releasable information” on Baghdadi’s whereabouts.

Syria declared victory over IS on Thursday, but the army and its allies are still fighting the militants in desert areas close to Albu Kamal near the border with Iraq.

IS chief Baghdadi had reportedly been in Iraq’s Anbar Province until he recently fled to Syria, Iraqi Media reported on Monday.

After the Iraqi forces liberated the town of Qaim in western Anbar near the Syrian border, the IS leader who had been hiding in the nearby town of Rawa fled to the Syrian border town of Albu Kamal by a taxi, according to the Iraqi news outlets quoting intelligence sources.

Baghdadi declared his self-styled caliphate in Syria and Iraq in 2014. He has been reported dead or wounded multiple times since then. The last time Russian Air Force announced it had killed him near Raqqa in Syria, but later Pentagon said he was still alive.

An audio message said to be from Baghdadi was released in September. However, Baghdadi’s death and his whereabout remain mysterious.


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