İlknur Şebnem Öztemel-TDO-18.07.2017- According to a senior Kurdish officer, so-called caliph of Deash, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was alive.
As it has been reported by Reuters news agency, Lahur Talabany, argued that information about Baghdadi’s death was a lie and he was located in Raqqa where is the ‘’capital’’ of the terrorist organization. He said "Baghdadi is definitely alive. He is not dead. We have information that he is alive. We believe 99 percent he is alive". He added "Don't forget his roots go back to al Qaeda days in Iraq. He was hiding from security services. He knows what he is doing".
Moreover, he asserted that regardless of the defeat of Deash in Mosul and lack of motivation, militants would use shifting tactics. Furthermore, he insisted that after coalition forces suceed in Raqqa, Deash would continue its existence and resemble to Al-Quaeda.
About a week ago, both Russian and coalition forces approved that Baghdadi is dead. Additionally, Deash confirmed it too. Even, Deash choosed a new leader named Abdurrahman Mustafa al-Seyhlar, using a nickname as Abu Al Afri who was a former Al-Qaeda militant that became active after American intervention to Iraq.
There is no doubt that Talabany’s claim must be investigated. Nevertheless, there may be a tricy situation as Kurdish militants owe their ‘’fame’’ in international arena to existence of Deash and chaos in the region. They may be distracting other states specially in the eve of the independence referendum which will be help on 25th of September in KRG (Kurdish Regional Government).
Yes, many Western officers such as American Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, criticized the timing of the referendum as operations continue in the region but it is significant for Kurdish militants to benefit any problem in the region as much as possible and increase their reputibility. Therefore, any controversy is good for them. This is a two-sided game.