Tim Hanlon – Daily Star March 3, 2019
Iraqi member of parliament, Hassan Salem, claims that the US is protecting the ISIS leader as of fear a draft bill that would expel foreign troops in Iraq.
Fighters for the terror group continue to lose ground with coalition forces closing in on their small remaining stronghold, about half a square mile, in the Syrian Euphrates valley.
In a statement, the politician said US military forces in Ain Al-Assad military base provide all means of support for Baghdadi’s movements between Iraq and Syria.
He claimed that al-Baghdadi is in the Anbar desert in the west of Iraq and not with the ISIS force in the Syrian Euphrates valley.
Middle East Monitor report him saying: “Al-Baghdadi is using the Anbar desert as a safe haven while the US forces provide him with all means of support from their station at the Ain Al-Assad military base in the Anbar province.”
He added that the support for Al Baghdadi “stems from Washington’s fear of a draft bill on expelling foreign troops from Iraq, which the parliament intends to vote on during the new legislative term.”
Baghdadi has not appeared in a video since he declared himself leader of the caliphate in a 2014 speech.
He has posted various rambling audio messages urging followers to keep fighting.
It has been claimed that ISIS fighters are angry with Baghdadi for disappearing into the desert rather than battling with them to the end.
Mohammed Ali, a captured Canadian ISIS fighter, told the Sunday Times: “He’s hiding somewhere, people were angry.”
It backs up reports that western officials in the area believe that Al-Baghdadi is actually in the Iraqi desert of Anbar.
A Sunday Times source said: “Around one year ago there were a lot of assassinations between (ISIS members).
“Between those from the Gulf, other groups and Iraqis. They were killing each other.
“The conflict was between foreign fighters. They were asking where was the caliph?”
Baghdadi’s death has been reported many times in recent years but the terrorist has re-emerged each time.