"I'll believe otherwise when we know we've killed him", Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon.
Defense Secretary James Mattis today said he continues to believe that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is still alive, and that he will assume Baghdadi is alive until he sees confirmation that the United States has killed him.
Russia's army said in mid-June that it was seeking to verify whether it had killed the IS chief in a May air strike in Syria.
At that gathering, General Tony Thomas - head of the USA military's Special Operations Command - reportedly said that American forces at one point came "particularly close" to Baghdadi after a 2015 raid recovered information about the Islamic State group.
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"I think Baghdadi's alive..." Barring evidence that Baghdadi continues to be engaged in the command and control of the organization, Mattis suggested the ISIS leader may have assumed a different role, such as a spiritual or propaganda leader within ISIS.
It is not yet clear why Trump holds the Times responsible or what exactly the outlet's supposed "sick agenda over National Security" is, but the president's tweet was most likely a response to comments made by U.S. Gen.
"We are going after him but we assume he is alive". "Unfortunately, it was leaked in a prominent national newspaper about a week later and that lead went dead", Thomas said.
Reports have proliferated in recent months as to whether Baghdadi is dead.