Rumours circulate about IS leader's death
The leader of the Islamic State Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed in a US airstrike in Syria, according to a report by the British tabloid The Mirror. The paper cites a news agency close to the IS terrorists, but the US Department of Defense has yet to confirm al-Baghdadi's death. Commentators are divided about whether the news is reliable, but many believe the fight against the IS has reached a crucial turning point.
IS being pushed into a corner
Information from IS sources cannot be trusted without corroboration, Arab Studies expert Vladimir Chukov warns in the daily Trud:
“Without an official confirmation by the US we can't be sure that al-Baghdadi is dead. As long as the information comes from the IS itself this could be an attempt to hide and protect him. The fight against the IS has entered a decisive phase, as the terrorists have retreated from some of their strategic locations. Raqqa is besieged, as is the pivotal town of Manbij in northern Syria. Falluja in Iraq is on the verge of being taken by the government troops. Mossul, too is on the point of being liberated, and the IS bastion in Libya, the port city of Sirte, has already fallen.”
Terror organisation's goose is cooked
Népszabadság believes the news that al-Baghdadi is dead, and hopes that the IS will now be wiped out:
“Will this bring about a change in the region? ... It seems that the world has had enough of this bloody criminal organisation and is determined to drive the monster from the cradle of global culture once and for all. ... Even those local military forces that have backed the IS for years on end with financial help and weapons have had enough of it - for example the Sunni states that wanted to stop the advance of Shiite Iran with the help of the terrorists. Or those who considered the IS an ally for putting an end to the Kurds' struggle for independence.”