Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says Iraqi authorities are monitoring movements of the “isolated” chief of Daesh terrorist group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
“He’s almost alone at the moment. He doesn’t have many people to trust. He is in isolation, we’re monitoring his movements,” Abadi said in an interview with the France 24 television channel.
He stressed that Baghdadi is keeping a very low profile. “His communication with other terrorists is very low. In many times, it is almost nonexistent.”
The prime minister, however, declined to reveal any details of Baghdadi’s whereabouts.
Answering a question whether Baghdadi was still in the northern city of Mosul, the Takfiri group’s last stronghold on Iraqi soil, Abadi smiled and said, “I’m not commenting on it.”
He also noted that most of Baghdadi’s aides had been “killed and eliminated” in recent operations.
The real challenge, however, was not the military fight against Daesh, but putting an end to its terror operations which have drawn fighters “from almost hundred countries in the world to Syria, to Iraq to fight and to kill innocent civilians,” he added.
The Iraqi premier announced the start of operations to liberate Mosul from Daesh terrorists on October 16, 2016.
The city fell to Daesh in June 2014 shortly after the Takfiri terrorists unleashed a campaign of terror and destruction in the northern and western parts of Iraq.
Forces from al-Hashd al-Sha’abi as well as Kurdish fighters are backing the Iraqi army in the final push to liberate Mosul.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Abadi slammed the controversial travel ban slapped by President Donald Trump that blocks the entry of citizens from seven predominately Muslim countries, including Iraq.
"There is no right for any country to humiliate other nations," he said.
The travel ban was later temporarily halted by a US federal judge in Seattle, Washington, on February 3.