- Syrian Democratic Forces spokesman Talal Sello said troops had seized Old City
- ‘We are on the edges of ISIS’s security quarter in the city centre,’ he said today
- ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is suspected to still be alive in the Middle East
- Top US commanders have admitted if they find him, they will probably kill him
US-backed fighters on Friday ousted the Islamic State group from Raqa’s Old City bringing them closer than ever to the jihadists’ most well-defended positions.
Syrian Democratic Forces spokesman Talal Sello said, using the Arabic acronym for IS, said: ‘Our forces today seized full control of the Old City in Raqa after clashes with Daesh.
‘We are on the edges of ISIS’s security quarter in the city centre, where most of its main bases are.’
A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces keeps guard as his comrades run to hide in front of the Islamic State fighters position in Raqqa, Syria last month
Among the fighting, the US commander of forces fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria believes the militants’ top leader is still alive.
That’s contrary to Russia’s claims that it probably killed him in an airstrike.
Army Lietenant General Stephen Townsend told reporters he’s seen ‘some indicators in intelligence channels’ that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is alive.
Russian officials claimed in June there was a ‘high probability’ that al-Baghdadi had died in a Russian airstrike on the outskirts of Raqqa, Syria, in May.
Townsend spoke to reporters at the Pentagon from his headquarters in Baghdad.
He said US forces are actively searching for Baghdadi and admitted if they find him, they probably will kill him rather than capture him.