Iraqi military aircraft have dropped leaflets over desert areas in the country’s western province of Anbar, offering a reward of millions of dollars for intelligence that would lead to the capture of the leader of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, Ibrahim al-Samarrai aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The planes dropped the leaflets over Upper Euphrates towns, bedouin encampments, and villages adjacent to the borders with Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia on Wednesday morning.
“The leader of Daesh and his fighters stole your land and killed your people, and now he is hiding in safety away from the death and destruction that he planted. With your intelligence reports, you can avenge,” the leaflets read.
They carried pictures of Baghdadi and a promise of a reward of 25 million US dollars for anyone, who provides information leading to the arrest of Baghdadi. The leaflets also provided two hot lines on WhatsApp messenger.
On February 28, Iraqi legislator Hassan Salem said in a statement that “Baghdadi is in the Anbar desert, which he is using as a safe haven.”
“He is being provided with US support at Anbar’s Ayn al-Assad military base and is traveling freely between Iraq and Syria,” Salem noted.
The Iraqi lawmaker went on to say that the US is helping the Daesh leader as Iraq’s parliament is set to vote on a bill on a complete US troop withdrawal from the country.
The United States supports Baghdadi “out of concerns over possible endorsement of [a] bill on expelling US troops from Iraq,” he noted.
Former Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, declared the end of military operations against Daesh in the country on December 9, 2017.
On July 10 that year, he had formally declared victory over Daesh in the strategic northern city of Mosul, which served as the terrorists’ main urban stronghold in Iraq.
In the run-up to Mosul’s liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and voluntary fighters from the pro-government Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) – better known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi – had made sweeping gains against Daesh.