RNA - "We're looking for him every day. I don't think he's dead," Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend, commander of the counter-ISIL coalition in Iraq and Syria, told reporters in a conference call, the Lebanese Naharnet news agency reported.
Townsend admitted he didn't "have a clue" where Baghdad is precisely, but believes he may have fled with many other ISIL fighters into the Middle Euphrates region stretching from Syria to Iraq, after coalition and local force assaults on the ISIL's bastions of Mosul, Raqqa and Tal Afar.
"The last stand of ISIL will be in the Middle Euphrates River Valley," Townsend said.
"When we find him, I think we'll just try to kill him first. It's probably not worth all the trouble to try and capture him."
With a $25 million US bounty on his head, Iraq-born Baghdadi has successfully avoided an intense effort to seek him out for six years or more.
Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in mid-June that it had heard from senior ISIL leaders in Syria's Deir Ezzur province that Baghdadi was dead.
Russia's army said in mid-June that it was seeking to verify whether it had killed him in a May air strike in Syria.
"I've seen no convincing evidence, intelligence, or open-source or other rumor or otherwise that he's dead.... There are also some indicators in intelligence channels that he's still alive," said Townsend.