Washington: US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said in a tweet that Islamic State founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's "number one replacement" had been killed by American troops in raids by security forces.
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
Trump did not identify the person or give more detail on how he was killed, but the US on Monday confirmed the killing of Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir, IS spokesperson and a high-ranking figure within the jihadi group.
A top Kurdish official said Baghdadi's spokesman and right-hand man, Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, was killed on 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.
Trump's announcement came two days after he declared that al-Baghdadi had died in a raid during US special forces in northwest Syria, in a major blow to the jihadist group.
Baghdadi killed himself during the raid by igniting a suicide vest, Trump had said in a televised address from the White House on Sunday. Test results from the aftermath of the raid had positively identified Baghdadi, he said.