BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:30 A.M.) – An Iraqi lawmaker alleged on Wednesday that the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daesh) leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi is traveling freely “under U.S. military protection” in the desert of western Iraq.
“IS [Daesh] leader Baghdadi is in the Western Desert in Anbar province under U.S. military’s protection… He travels between Iraq and Syria protected by the United States”, Iraqi lawmaker Hassan Salem said, as quoted by the Lebanese El-Nashra news outlet.
The lawmaker claimed that support of the Islamic State leader was provided from the Ayn al-Asad Airbase, where U.S. troops are currently deployed.
Salem added that the United States “supported Baghdadi out of concerns over the possible endorsement of a bill expelling U.S. troops from Iraq”.
Veteran journalist Elijah Magnier reported earlier this week that Baghdadi was believed to be hiding in the last Islamic State enclave in the Euphrates River Valley.
Citing an Iraqi intel officer, Magnier said the ISIS leader was believed to be trapped in the Euphrates River Valley, as Iraqi intelligence officers embedded within the terrorist ranks have provided information to Baghdad about Baghdadi’s whereabouts.