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US commander hopes ISIS leader Baghdadi is ‘deader than a doornail’

Published: Updated:

The head of the international coalition fighting the ISIS group said Tuesday he had no information that would confirm or deny claims that the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is dead, Agence France-Presse reported.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed it had "confirmed information" that Baghdadi has been killed, citing high-level ISIS commanders.

"(We have) confirmed information from leaders, including one of the first rank, in the Islamic State in the eastern countryside of Deir al-Zor," the director of the British-based war monitoring group Rami Abdulrahman told Reuters.

In response, US Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend said he had heard "all kinds of reporting" about Baghdadi's status.

But, he stressed, "I don't have a clue."

"Hope he's deader than a doornail. And if he's not, as soon as we find out where he is he will be,” added Townsend.

A combo of two handout pictures released by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security (L) and by Iraqi Ministry of Interior shows photographs of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. (AFP)
A combo of two handout pictures released by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security (L) and by Iraqi Ministry of Interior shows photographs of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. (AFP)