Washington: 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.
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.
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.
Baghdadi detonated suicide vest
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.
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.