U.S. State Department Says al-Baghdadi's 'Number Two' was Killed in Separate Attack
The Islamic State spokesman, a man poised to become the next terror leader of the group, was killed in Syria by U.S. forces, according to the U.S. State Department.
Islamic State spokesman Abu Hassan al-Muhajir was considered “number two” to leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a senior State Department official told Fox News. Al-Baghdadi was also killed in a separate U.S. attack in another border town on Saturday night.
"Just confirmed that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s number one replacement has been terminated by American troops," Trump wrote. "Most likely would have taken the top spot — Now he is also Dead!"
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
Gen. Mazloum Abdi, the top Kurdish leader for the Syrian Democratic Forces, tweeted to confirm the attack: “Following the previous ops, a senior assistant for al-Bagdadi is called Abu Hesen al Mouhjir was targeted in a village named Ein al Baat near Jaraboul city, the mission was conducted via direct coordination of SDF Intel & US military apart the ongoing ops to hunt ISIS leaders.”
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported Muhajir’s death, saying he was traveling in a convoy when he was killed.
Muhajir became the ISIS spokesperson in 2016 after his predecessor, Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, was killed in a U.S. airstrike, also in Aleppo. Muhajir was relatively unknown, but his nickname, meaning "emigrant"suggested he might have been a foreigner, according to Newsweek.
In another attack hours before the spokesman’s death, forces targeted leader al-Baghdadi.
Troops reported that they identified al-Baghdadi in a dead-end tunnel in Syria. He then detonated a suicide vest.
“There wasn’t much left,” President Donald Trump said of al-Baghdadi’s remains during a Sunday morning news conference, “but there are still substantial pieces that they brought back.”
Fox News reported that troops used biometrics and DNA testing to identify the terrorist leader by his head.
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Zabelin