A SPLINTER group of ISIS jihadis has declared ‘independence’ from the rest of the unholy caliphate as their vile regime of terror across Iraq crumbles.
Tal Afar is one of the most important strongholds still held by ISIS militants
The area concerned is the town of Tal Afar, 75km west of Mosul which was bravely liberated by US-backed Iraqi security forces.
A source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told local media: “IS leadership in Tal Afar declared in a brief statement that the town has become an independent state from the caliphate and threatened strict punishment against whoever violates orders.
“Tal Afar has been completely controlled by Arabs and foreigners with no local leaders in the wake of the mass executions that was carried out over the past few weeks.”
The splintering of the terror tyrants throws further weight behind claims ISIS founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has died, leaving his followers to fight for the remaining scraps of his terrible legacy.
ISIS is said to have been thrown into chaos after the suspected death of al-Baghdadi.
Iyad al-Obaidi, ISIS war minister and a former Iraqi army officer under Saddam Hussein, is reported to have stepped forward to claim the leadership in a direct challenge to his opponents.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has died, according to reports
Al-Obaidi and his alleged leadership rival Ayad al-Jumaili joined the Sunni Salafist insurgency in Iraq in 2003, following the US-led invasion which gave increased power to Iraq’s Shi’ite majority.
They have been al-Baghdadi’s top aides since air strikes in 2016 killed his then-deputy Abu Ali al-Anbari, his Chechen war minister Abu Omar al-Shishani and his Syrian chief propagandist, Abu Mohammad al-Adnani.
Al-Baghdadi awarded himself the title of caliph – the chief Muslim civil and religious ruler, regarded as the successor of the Prophet Mohammad – in 2014.
Earlier this week, ISIS issued a brief statement in Tal Afar announcing that all its departments are working through alternative headquarters in the town, according to reports.
In late June, a top leader in the town, during a Friday prayer sermon, is reported to have said the town had become a temporary headquarters for ISIS’ proclaimed caliphate.
Tal Afar is one of the most important strongholds still held by ISIS in Iraq’s Nineveh province.