A notorious ISIL commander and mastermind who orchestrated attacks on Iraqi security forces in al-Anbar province in Western Iraq was killed by Hashd al-Sha’abi (Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces) on Wednesday.
Commander of Hashd al-Sha’abi Forces in Al-Anbar Province Qatari al-Abidi announced on Wednesday that the Iraqi forces backed by the Iraqi air forces killed ISIL’s mastermind Abdul Farhan, nom de guerre Emir of Al-Jazira region, together with six of his aides in an ambush military operation against the ISIL in Wadi Ja’al region near al-Tharthar lake in Heet city in Western al-Anbar.
The Arabic-language al-Ma’aloumeh news website also said that Abdul Farhan has been in charge of terrorist attacks against the Iraqi security forces and commanded the forced recruiting of soldiers for terrorists.
In a relevant development last week, Iraqi sources reported that ISIL ringleader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was hiding in the Western deserts of al-Anbar province at the border with Syria.
Al-Ma’aloumeh quoted an intelligence source in Hashd al-Shaabi command center in al-Anbar province as saying that according to the latest intel, al-Baghdadi had sheltered in a hidden tunnel in al-Husayniyat region in the Northern parts of the town of al-Ratbah in Western al-Anbar.
He added that the security forces were mulling operations to take control of the tunnel, and said that given the heavy deployment of security forces in al-Ratbah region near the border with Syria and closure of all roads, al-Baghdadi and the militants under his command could not escape.
The source underlined that given the fact that the US fighter jets have not bombed the ISIL’s hideouts and tunnels in the region, the American forces are likely aware of his presence in al-Ratbah desert areas.
The speculations come after al-Baghdadi made his first appearance in April, after five years of absence, in a video in which he acknowledged the defeat of the terrorist group’s fighters in the battle for Baghouz in Syria.
The video was reportedly filmed earlier in April.
In recent years, Baghdadi’s death has been reported multiple times, however, the terrorist leader has re-emerged time and time again.
The Sun claimed, citing Zaid Hamid, who is a co-founder of the BrassTacks threat analysis think-tank, last month that al-Baghdadi is allegedly hiding in a distant region of Afghanistan.
“Note the style of the bedding and the pillows….Is he already in Afghanistan?” Zaid Hamid pointed out.