Men ride a motorbike past cars, in line at a gasoline station, waiting to fuel up in Aleppo, Syria. Omar Sanadiki / Reuters
The elusive chief of the Daesh group Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi has purportedly appeared for the first time in five years in a propaganda video released Monday by the extremist organisation.
It is unclear when the footage was filmed, but the man said to be Baghdadi referred in the past tense to the months-long fight for Baghouz, Daesh's final bastion in eastern Syria, which ended last month.
"The battle for Baghouz is over," the man said, sitting cross-legged on a cushion and addressing three men whose faces have been blurred.
But he insisted that Daesh's operations against the West were part of a "long battle," and that Daesh would "take revenge" on members who had been killed.
"There will be more to come after this battle," he said.
Baghdadi, 47, had a long grey beard that appeared dyed with henna and spoke slowly, often pausing for several seconds in the middle of his sentences.
He appeared for the first and last time in public in Mosul in 2014, where he declared an Islamic "caliphate" in the swathes of territory IS then held in Syria and Iraq.
He was reported killed or injured multiple times since then.
His last voice recording to his supporters was released in August, eight months after Iraq announced it had defeated IS and as US-backed forces closed in next door in Syria.
US President Donald Trump showed off maps that illustrate the dramatic shrinking of territory held by the militant group in the period from his election in 2016 and now.
Syrian Kurds on Saturday repatriated 25 women and children from Iraq’s Yazidi minority after freeing them during the final push against the Daesh group, a local official said.
Clashes with guards, violent factional quarrels and a new strain of ultra-extremism -- the Daesh group’s territorial “caliphate” may be defeated, but a camp in eastern Syria is emerging as a fresh extremist powder keg. Dislodged in a final offensive by a Kurdish-led ground force and coalition air strikes,
Born in New York, Johnson was educated at Eton, Britain’s most exclusive school, and at Balliol College, Oxford. He began his career at a management consultancy in the City of London but dropped out after a week.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Thursday slammed his Malaysian counterpart for creating “confusion” by criticising a decision to charge four people over the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
Skies over the seaside town were lit up repeatedly during a storm that spread across large parts of the South East and saw over 40mm of rain fall in some places.