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Baghdadi believed to be trapped in Euphrates enclave: report

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BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:00 A.M.) – The leader of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daesh), Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, may be hiding inside the terrorist group’s last enclave in the Euphrates River Valley region, veteran journalist Elijah Magnier reported on Tuesday.

“There are strong indications ISIS top ranking leaders are in the city, probably including Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” a high ranking Iraqi intelligence official told Magnier.

Citing the Iraqi official, Magnier said his source relied on intelligence information that was collected from Iraqis that are currently operating inside the Baghouz area of Deir Ezzor.

“There is a serious shortage of food and medicine in Baghuz forcing ISIS leadership to reduce the burden by asking civilians and families of militants to leave. The 1000 or 1500 militants remaining in the city can survive longer rationing what is left and are ready to fight to the death. Fighters get used to bombing and ISIS has enough experience in tunnel digging and the setup of underground shelters for command and control leadership and fighters to wait out an infantry assault,” the source told Magnier.

The reason for believing Al-Baghdadi is still inside this Euphrates pocket is due to the fact that the terrorist leader has not released any broadcasts since August 2018.

According to Magnier, the terrorist leader would most likely release a broadcast to encourage his fighters in the Euphrates enclave if he wasn’t inside this area.

In many previous battles, including Mosul and Al-Raqqa, the Islamic State leader has released audio messages to his fighters to fend off the opposing forces.

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