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Isis surrenders Iraqi hideout of leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

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Isis fighters who remain in western Mosul have barricaded themselves in the old city district and have little chance of escape.


The withdrawal leaves just that pocket of Mosul and the border town of Bukamal as the only urban centres in Iraq with a significant Isis presence. The fight to reclaim lands seized by Isis is now expected to shift focus to Syria, where the next, and potentially final, leg of the campaign to eradicate the group’s presence is intensifying.


A Guardian source who saw Isis’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in Bukamal earlier this year described him as thin and stooped. The source said Baghdadi was travelling with a small security detail in a convoy of four cars and spent only minutes in public before being escorted away.


The crumbling of the Isis caliphate has also renewed focus on finding Baghdadi, who is known to have spent large parts of the past three years in Baaj under the protection of tribes that had been loyal to the cause of Islamic State and its earlier incarnations. Baghdadi has also been sighted in Raqqa, the de facto capital of the Isis caliphate in Syria.


While the defeat of Isis seems assured, a plan to stop the group from re-emerging after the fighting is yet to take shape.

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The finger pointing just started :)


Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of destabilising the region.




The Saudi-led Arab coalition fighting Yemen's Houthi rebels also expelled Qatar from its alliance because of Doha's "practices that strengthen terrorism" and its support to groups "including al-Qaeda and Daesh [also known as the so-called Islamic State], as well as dealing with the rebel militias", according to SPA.

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