A unit of U.S. special forces has entered Syria from Iraq in order to hunt down ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, who is reportedly besieged in a narrow pocket in the middle Euphrates River Valley, the al-Araby al-Jadeed outlet reported on January 27 citing a senior Iraqi offical.
The official said that the unit, which was deployed in a military base near the Iraqi city of Irbil, is likely the same one which hunted and killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in 2011. According to him, this was the first time the elite unit was sent to Syria.
“The available information indicate that the U.S. Army wants al-Baghdadi alive, this may explain way a special force was deployed in an area that can be considered militarily defeated,” the official told the UK-based outlet.
Al-Baghdadi, whose real name is Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim al-Badri, was born near the Iraqi city of Samarra in 1971. He is one of the founders of the al-Qaeda branch in Iraq. Al-Baghdadi became the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq in 2010 after the death of the group’s leader Abu Omar al-Baghdadi. In 2011 he took advantage of the war in Syria to expand his influence which lead to the raise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Sham in 2014.
Last year Huthaifah al-Badri, a son of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), while he was participating in an “Inghimasi” attack in the Homs desert.
The chances of capturing the infamous terrorist leader alive are small, according to the Iraqi official, who believe that al-Baghdadi will resist and may even blow himself up if he is cornered.