German Chancellor Angela Merkel has admitted during a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdel Mahdi that the Daesh* terrorist group can't be considered fully defeated in light of the recently published video, which purportedly shows the leader of the organisation alive. She further admitted that despite military defeat in Syria and Iraq, the international community will have to put more effort into eliminating the remnants of Daesh* worldwide.
"We will remain occupied for some time to come with the question of how [Daesh*] can finally be defeated", she said.
Her words were echoed by Mahdi, who said that although the terrorist group had suffered "painful blows", the possibility of its resurgence can't be ruled out just yet. He argued that Daesh's* next step could be rebuilding trust with its fighters and the resumption of terrorist operations.
"Daesh was broken, but if little cells are left, it could reactivate and resurface and commit painful attacks", the prime minister said.
Several media outlets reported on 29 April that the notorious leader of Daesh*, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has made an appearance in a video for the first time in five years. In the footage, he acknowledges the defeat of the terrorist group's fighters in the Battle for Baghouz last month and vows to avenge the fallen and captured fighters with attacks on foreign countries.
The video was allegedly shot early in April, but the authenticity of the claim, as well as the video itself, has not been independently verified yet. US Army spokesman Col. James Rawlinson told Sputnik that the US-led coalition is working on corroborating the authenticity of the video.
The last time Baghdadi showed himself to the public was in 2014, when he declared the establishment of a so-called "Islamic caliphate" in Iraq and Syria at the al-Nuri mosque in the Iraqi city of Mosul. Since then, he has been proclaimed dead on several occasions, but audio recordings that appeared after these reports cast doubt on the news.
*Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia