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ICC Note:

As ISIS reels from the Mosul’s liberation, infighting threatens to further damage the militant organization. Russia claimed to have killed ISIS’ leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, last month and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported yesterday that they confirmed the death. After the death reports were confirmed, Abu Haitham al-Obaidi, reportedly declared himself to be the new caliph after al-Baghdadi. Not all militants were pleased with al-Obaidi’s declaration and experts suggest there will be fighting among ISIS’ senior members to fill the power vacuum after Mousl’s liberation and al-Baghdadi’s death reports.

07/12/2017 Iraq (Daily Mail) – A senior member of Islamic State has declared himself the new caliph following reports of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s death, a news agency in Iraq has reported. Abu Haitham al-Obaidi, the terrorist group’s deputy mayor in Hawija in northern Iraq, is said to have declared himself the new leader.

Yesterday the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it had ‘confirmed information’ that Baghdadi had been killed after Russia claimed last month to have hit the self-proclaimed caliph in an airstrike on the outskirts of Raqqa, Syria.

According to Iraqi News, Jabbar al-Maamouri, a leader of the government-sanctioned militia group Popular Mobilization Forces, said: ‘Abu Haitham al-Obaidi, deputy to the (Islamic State’s) mayor of Hawija, dissented from the group and named himself a new Caliph after Baghdadi’s death reports were confirmed.’

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