Washington, October 29: US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the person likely to be first in line to replace Islamic State's slain leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has also been "terminated." "Just confirmed that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's number one replacement has been terminated by American troops. Most likely would have taken the top spot - Now he is also Dead!" Trump tweeted. ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Tried for Foothold in UP During 2016-17: Report.
Trump did not identify the person or give more detail on how he was killed. A top Kurdish official said Baghdadi's spokesman and right hand man, Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, was killed Sunday in a separate raid in the village of Ain Al-Baydah.
Donald Trump Tweet:
Just confirmed that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s number one replacement has been terminated by American troops. Most likely would have taken the top spot - Now he is also Dead!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 29, 2019
It was unclear if that was the person Trump was referring to in his tweet.
Mazloum Abdi, commander of the Kurdish-led SDF, had said on Twitter that al-Muhajir was targeted in what he described as a "coordinated operation between SDF intelligence and the US army."
That raid was carried out a day after US commandos stormed Baghdadi's hideout in northwestern Syria. The Islamic State founder detonated a suicide vest, killing himself and three children, as he was being chased into a dead end tunnel, according to the US account. ISIS Chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Killed in US Military Operation in Syria, Says US Media Reports.
A Kurdish official on Monday said the SDF provided crucial intelligence from a source who infiltrated Baghdadi's house, bringing out underwear that provided positive DNA identification.