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Daesh Head Baghdadi Appears on Video, Vows Revenge for Fallen Militants - Report

© AFP 2023 / SourceAlleged photo of Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
Alleged photo of Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi - Sputnik International
According to recent reports, the leader of the terrorist organisation was hiding in the Iraqi desert while the remnants of Daesh* were fighting for the group’s last sliver of land in Baghouz - something which caused anger among the surviving militants.

Several media outlets reported on 29 April that the notorious leader of Daesh*, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has made his first appearance after five years of absence in a video where he acknowledges the defeat of the terrorist group's fighters in the battle for Baghouz last month.

Shiite Muslims shout slogans and burn an effigy of the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi during a protest in New Delhi, India, Friday, June 9, 2017 - Sputnik International
Daesh Fighters 'Angry' at al-Baghdadi Allegedly Hiding in Iraqi Desert – Report

In the 18 minute video, Baghdadi vowed to avenge the group's killed and imprisoned militants, claiming that Daesh* had already carried out 92 operations in eight countries for this purpose. He namely discussed the recent Sri Lanka bombings that claimed the lives of over 250 people.

The video reportedly indicates that it was filmed earlier in April, but currently there is no way of verifying this information — or the authenticity of the video itself. At the same time, US Army spokesman Col. James Rawlinson told Sputnik that the US-led coalition is working on corroborating the authenticity of the video.

READ MORE: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Guarded by US, Travels Across Iraq's Desert — Reports

The last time that Baghdadi showed himself to the public was in 2014, when he declared the creation of the so-called "Islamic caliphate" in Iraq and Syria in the al-Nuri mosque in the Iraqi city of Mosul. Since then, he has been proclaimed dead on several occasions, but audio recordings that appeared after these reports cast doubt on the news.

This July 5, 2014 photo shows an image grab taken from a propaganda video released by al-Furqan Media allegedly showing the leader of the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, aka Caliph Ibrahim, adressing Muslim worshippers at a mosque in the militant-held northern Iraqi city of Mosul - Sputnik International
Al-Baghdadi Reportedly Orders Execution of 320 Daesh Followers for 'Betrayal'

According to the latest reports, Baghdadi was hiding in the Iraqi desert while the remaining Daesh* militants were defending their last sliver land in the eastern Syrian town of Baghouz. They lost the battle last month.

Prior to this, The Guardian reported, citing intelligence sources, that Baghdadi had barely survived an assassination attempt in a village near Hajin, Syria on 10 January 2019 organised by some of his closest foreign fighters.

*Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia

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