A man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has made what would be his first public appearance at a mosque in the centre of Iraq's second city, Mosul, according to a video recording posted on the Internet on July 5, 2014, in this still image taken from video.
There had previously been reports on social media that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi would make his first public appearance since his Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) changed its name to the Islamic State and declared him caliph. The Iraqi government denied that the video, which carried Friday's date, was credible. It was also not possible to immediately confirm the authenticity of the recording or the date when it was made.
According to reports, if such an air-strike is launched, it will focus on possible targets in both Iraq and Syria. There is also a possibility that the attack will involve manned warplanes as those are more capable than drone attacks in terms of dynamic targeting. However, the U.S. government is apparently not willing to start a long-term war against ISIS at the moment.
Obama earlier clarified that United States would only get involved in such attacks if those were associated with a feasible plan by the Iraqi government to ensure sustainable non-sectarian security in the country. Such a clarification indicated that the U.S. government might alternatively provide gathered information to the Iraqi government so that the latter could conduct a mission to capture of assassinate the ISIS leader.
The Obama government has already announced $10 million bounty for Al-Baghdadi under its "Justice" programme. The programme is designed to offer a significant amount as a reward for those who provide necessary information about high profile terrorists. United States has also reportedly included Al-Baghdadi in its "kill list."