The top military commander leading the US fight against ISIS says there is no evidence that its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is alive, Politico reported.
While Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told Reuters on Tuesday that it had “confirmed information” that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed, ISIS itself has also not released any statements as they have when high-profile militants have been killed in the past.
Shy of confirming the death, Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend told a group of reporters that there was no evidence to suggest that al-Baghdadi, who once led ISIS fights to capture entire cities in Iraq and Syria, is alive.
“I really don’t know. … I don’t have reason to believe that he’s alive. I don’t have proof of life,” Townsend said.
Last month, al-Baghdadi went into hiding after the US offered a $US25 million reward to anyone able to bring him to justice. While his death would mark a significant step in ISIS’ reported loss of a stronghold in Syria and Iraq, national security strategist Fred Kagan told Politico that it would not mean that the danger of the terrorist group has passed.