US commander: IS leader al-Baghdadi probably still alive


By ROBERT BURNS
AP Nationwide Safety Author

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. commander of forces preventing the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria believes the militants’ prime chief continues to be alive. That is opposite to Russia’s claims that it in all probability killed him in an airstrike.

Military Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend tells reporters he is seen “some indicators in intelligence channels” that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is alive. He didn’t elaborate.

Russian officers claimed in June there was a “excessive chance” that al-Baghdadi had died in a Russian airstrike on the outskirts of Raqqa, Syria, in Might.

Townsend spoke to reporters on the Pentagon from his headquarters in Baghdad. He says U.S. forces are actively looking for Baghdadi. He says in the event that they discover him, they in all probability will kill him somewhat than seize him.

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