ISIL chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appears in propaganda video

ISIL chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appears in propaganda video

ISIL chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appears in propaganda video

"The battle for Baghouz is now over", the man said, referring to the last ISIS stronghold defeated by the Western-backed coalition on March 23.

The group has mounted a number of attacks since then and has claimed credit for the bombings in Sri Lanka which killed more than 300 people.

In the video, Baghdadi was seen saying, " group will seek revenge for militants who were killed and imprisoned".

Wearing a black robe with a beige vest, Baghdadi gave an 18-minute address. Several aides with their faces covered are shown listening.

The Islamic State (IS) released a new video on April 29, 2019 that the Easter Sunday attack in Sri Lanka was by the terror group.

USA intelligence officials are aware of the new video but have yet to verify its authenticity.

The video would be the first from Baghdadi since he was filmed in the Iraqi city of Mosul five years ago, though more recent speeches have been released as audio recordings.

USA special operations forces have concentrated the hunt for him in western Iraq in recent months, a counterterrorism official said, and Iraqi military aircraft recently dropped leaflets over the Sunni-dominated town of Ramadi reminding Iraqis of the large reward for his capture or confirmed killing.

Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in his first public appearance in Mosul, Iraq, in July 2014 (left) and in a video released Monday that purported to show him speaking to supporters.

"The battle for Baghouz is over", the man said. It's not clear when the video was taken.

Al-Baghdadi appeared to be in good health, although he spoke slowly and sometimes haltingly in the video.

Baghdadi's disappearance from view coincided with a number of unconfirmed reports of his death, as the worldwide community rallied to defeat the rise of IS in Syria and Iraq.

The terror group has lost almost all of the territory it once controlled in Iraq and Syria.

"ISIS's territorial defeat in Iraq and Syria was a crushing strategic and psychological blow as ISIS saw its so-called caliphate crumble, its leaders killed or flee the battlefield, and its savagery exposed", he said.

According to the latest reports, Baghdadi was hiding in the Iraqi desert while the remaining Daesh* militants were defending their last sliver land in the eastern Syrian town of Baghouz.

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