A top Kurdish counter-terrorism official said on Monday he was 99 percent sure that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was alive and located south of the Syrian city of Raqqa, after reports that he had been killed, according to Reuters.
"Baghdadi is definitely alive. He is not dead. We have information that he is alive. We believe 99 percent he is alive," Lahur Talabany said.
"Don't forget his roots go back to al-Qaeda days in Iraq. He was hiding from security services. He knows what he is doing."
Iraqi security forces have ended three years of ISIS rule in the Iraqi city of Mosul.
The terrorist group is under growing pressure in Raqqa, its stronghold in Syria.
Still, Talabany said ISIS was shifting tactics despite low morale and it would take three or four years to eliminate the group.
After defeat, ISIS would wage an insurgency and resemble al-Qaeda on "steroids", he said.
The future leaders of ISIS were expected to be intelligence officers who served under former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.