Backed fighters seize parts of Raqqa

Backed fighters seize parts of Raqqa”

Leader of the Islamic state Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is in hiding as the two main centres of his self-declared caliphate are close to being taken by Iraqi and U.S. coalition-led forces. Syrian activist collective Raqqa24 said that seven people were killed on Saturday when coalition aircraft bombed al-Nour street in Raqqa.

The latest report of Baghdadi's death claims the terrorist was killed in Raqqa - the de facto capital of Daesh.

Hisham al-Hashimi, who advises Middle East governments on Islamic State affairs, said al-Baghdadi fears traitors may hand him over to the US.

ISIS media claimed it recently had captured and kidnapped YPG members on the northwestern outskirts of the city, although there was no confirmation from YPG.

Last week, video footage has surfaced that shows airstrikes hitting Raqqa.

Baghdadi does not use phones and has a handful number of approved couriers to communicate with his two main aides, Iyad al-Obaidi, his defence minister, and Ayad al-Jumaili, in charge of security.

Former residents in touch with relatives in the beleaguered city said at least 50 people, mostly civilians, were killed in escalating US-led strikes in the last 24 hours on residential areas inside the city.

US CENTCOM, which reports the coalition's strikes and engagements on IS targets reported "nine strikes" on targets inside Raqqa city on Thursday but made no public mention of any specific white phosphorus attacks.

Shiite Muslims burn an effigy of the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi during a protest.

"Recent evidence unearthed for a documentary shows Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi escaped capture in Iraq by just minutes back in 2013", the news site reported. Documented or alleged cases include: the 1994 Russian assault on Grozny in Chechnya; the April and November 2004 U.S. attacks on the Iraqi city of Fallujah; the 2006 Israeli invasion of southern Lebanon; the 2008-2009 Israeli assault on the Palestinian city of Gaza; and by American forces in Afghanistan during the so-called "surge" ordered by the Obama administration in 2009.

Multiple previous claims that the IS leader had been killed have proven to be false. "It is only a matter of time before Baghdadi himself meets the same fate". has contacted the US Department of Defense for comment.

ISIS fighters are close to defeat in the twin capitals of the terrorist group's territory, Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria, and officials said Baghdadi is steering clear of both.

The Kurdish-led forces have already captured three neighbourhoods in the city of Raqqa since the launch of a major operation to liberate the city a few days ago.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said the SDF took the al-Sanaa industrial neighborhood on Monday as part of their push into the eastern half of the city, and had reached the walls of the Old City neighborhood, Reuters indicated.

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