Spokesman for Hashd al-Shaabi (the Iraqi volunteer forces) Ahmad al-Assadi said on Monday that the latest information and intel shows that ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is still in Iraq, hiding somewhere outside Mosul.
“The terrorist, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is in a region between the town of Tal Afar (some 54km North-West of Mosul) and the town of al-Baaj (157km to the South-West of Mosul),” al-Assadi was quoted as saying by Iraq’s al-Ma’louma news agency on Monday.
He also said that the operations of the volunteer forces cover an area 14,000 sq/km around Mosul that includes the towns of al-Hazar, al-Baaj and its surrounding regions towards Tal Afar, as reported by Fars.
Based on an agreement made earlier, the Iraqi popular forces and Peshmarga Kurdish troops will not be part of the invading forces inside the two cities of Tal Afar and Mosul, while they will help tighten and maintain the siege on the rims of the two cities.
Various units of Iraq’s armed forces, including the army, police and anti-terrorism troops, lead the assault.