ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi survived a coup attempt launched by foreign fighters of the terrorist group in his eastern Syrian hideout last January, The Guardian reported on February 8, citing intelligence officials.
During the failed coup, a firefight broke out between foreign fighters and al-Baghdadi’s bodyguards in a village near the town of Hajin in the middle Euphrates River Valley. ISIS has offered a reward to whomever kills Abu Muath al-Jazairi, a foreign terrorist who is believed to be the planner of the coup attempt.
“They got wind of it just in time … There was a clash and two people were killed. This was the foreign fighter element, some of his most trusted people,” The Guardian quoted an intelligence official as saying.
According to The Guardian, al-Baghdadi fled to a unspecified desert area following the coup attempt. ISIS maintains influence in two deserts near the Euphrates Valley, the Homs desert in central Syria and the al-Anbar desert in western Iraq.
The rapid collapse of ISIS’ least strongholds in the Euphrates Valley has led to a state of chaos among the group’s fighters who are surrendering in masses to US-backed forces. According to a recent statistic by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), more than 3,400 terrorists, mostly foreigners, have surrendered so far.
The upcoming few days will likely witness the complete elimination of the ISIS-held pocket in the Euphrates Valley. However, the terrorist group’s leader may survive for a long time.
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