Sunday, Iraqi elite forces entered Mosul to take back the city. This is the last big city in Iraq where the jihadists have still been holding the control. This operation seems to be more important than before since we assume that the jihadists’s chief, Abu Bakr El-Baghdadi is in the city.
Indeed, the chief of the Kurdistan Region Presidency (KRP), Fuad Hussein revealed to the daily British newspaper, The Independent that “Abu Bakr El-Baghdadi is here at Mosul, and if he is killed, this will mean the overthrow of all the system of ISIS.” Abu Bakr El-Baghdadi was not seen for 8 to 9 months. For Fuad Hussein, the jihadists’s chief is still hiding in the city.
He also told the Independent that “his surviving adherents (would) fight to the death to defend him.” For him, if Abu Bakr El-Baghdadi is killed, it will change a lot for the ISIS. The latter will have to turn all its hierarchy. It will be very complicated and destabilizing for the ISIS to find another leader during the war. Moreover, Abu Bakr El-Baghdadi represents the conquest of Mosul in 2014.
Today, the number of islamist fighters still present in the city is estimated between 3,000 and 5,000.
Mégane Coulon, IEJ3F2