Published On: Tue, Oct 29th, 2019

Donald Trump announces US special forces ‘terminate’ Isis’ al-Baghdadi replacement | World | News

The US President tweeted: “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.” Mr Trump did not say who exactly he was referring to in his social media post, but the US on Monday confirmed the killing of Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir, Islamic State spokesman and a high-ranking figure within the jihadi group.

On Sunday, Mr Trump announced the killing of Baghdadi by US special operations forces in northwestern Syria.

A senior State Department official said on Monday that al-Muhajir was killed in a separate operation.

The Syrian Kurdish YPG militia said on Sunday that al-Muhajir was killed in a joint raid between Kurdish-led and US forces in northern Syria.

The US is also increasing its efforts to protect Syria’s oil fields from the so-called Islamic State group as well as from Syria itself and the country’s Russian allies.

After the killing of the IS leader, defence secretary Mark Esper indicated the new high-stakes push is under way even as American troops are withdrawn from other parts of the country.

Mr Esper said the oil field mission will also ensure income for Syrian Kurds who are counted on by Washington to continue guarding IS prisoners and helping American forces combat remnants of the group – even as President Donald Trump continues to insist all US troops will come home.

“We don’t want to be a policeman in this case,” Mr Trump said on Monday, referring to America’s role after Turkey’s incursion in Syria.

More to follow.

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