Mosul Official: al-Baghdadi is in a town close to the Iraqi-Syrian border – Basnews | Karzan Sabah Hawrami – 07.02.2015 – MOSUL – A member of the Mosul Provincial Council says that due to threats posed by coalition airstrikes in Syria, Islamic State leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi has returned to Mosul in northern Iraq. Council member Ibrahim Ta’ai told BasNews that they have confirmed reports the IS leader has moved from the Syrian city of Raqqa to the Mosul town of Ba’aja, located on the border between Mosul and Syria.
“We have received the information from locals in Ba’aja,” added Ta’ai. He said that al-Baghdadi moved back to Iraq after airstrikes from United States-led coalition forces intensified over recent days, following the brutal murder of Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh. Locals claim IS militants have sent reinforcements to the town, Ta’ai said. According to media reports, coalition jets have heavily shelled Raqqa over the last few nights. IS supporters have taken to social media, alleging the airstrikes killed American hostage Kayla Mueller, although the US government hasn’t confirmed it.