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Trump says Baghdadi successor 'terminated' by American troops

Baghdadi was killed in a US raid on Saturday [Getty]

Date of publication: 29 October, 2019

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Donald Trump's cryptic tweet has got security experts guessing.

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that the possible successor to slain Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been "terminated" by American troops.

"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.

He did not say who the person was or other details about the operation but the announcement comes three days after Baghdadi was killed in a raid in Syria's Idlib province by American special forces.

A top Kurdish official said Baghdadi's spokesman and right hand man, Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, was killed in a separate operation in northern Syria on the following day.

Mazloum Abdi, commander of the Kurdish-led SDF, claimed on Twitter that al-Muhajir was targeted in a "coordinated operation between SDF intelligence and the US army".

The killing of Baghdadi and Al-Muhajir would mark a major setback for the group, whose self-declared "caliphate" was ended with the fall of the Syrian town of Baghouz in March, after controlling much of Syria and Iraq.

Since then, the group has managed to launch sparodic hit-and-run shootings and bombings in Syria, but security experts fear IS supporters could launch attacks on civilian targets in other countries.

A Kurdish official on Monday said that the SDF provided  intelligence from a source who smuggled underwear out of Baghdadi's home, a breakthrough that provided positive DNA identification for the IS chief.

Baghdadi detonated a suicide bomb vest after being cornered in a tunnel by US troops on Saturday evening, killing three children and himself in the blast, Trump said in a speech on Sunday.

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