US confirms death of ISIS spokesman

State Department official confirms that Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir was killed in operation in Syria.

Elad Benari ,

ISIS
ISIS
Reuters

A State Department official on Monday confirmed the killing of Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir, the spokesman of the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organization and a high-ranking figure within the group, Reuters reports.

On Sunday, the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia said al-Muhajir was killed in a joint raid between Kurdish-led and US forces in northern Syria, hours after the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed in a separate operation.

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) General Commander Mazloum Abdi said it was “a continuation of the previous operation” in which al-Baghdadi was killed over the weekend. Mazloum described the jihadist spokesman as Baghdadi’s right-hand man.

On Monday, a US official speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity, said Muhajir was killed in the Syrian town of Jarablus in Aleppo province.

The operation which led to “the demise of his (Baghdadi) No. 2, or one of his No. 2s,” was also carried out by US forces, the official said, adding that the SDF had a big role in it.

Al-Muhajir was promoted to be ISIS spokesman in 2016, after a previous spokesman, Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, was killed in a US airstrike in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Baghdadi died by detonating a suicide vest after fleeing into a dead-end tunnel as elite US special operations forces closed in over the weekend.

News of Baghdadi’s death followed years of conflicting reports about his fate. A year ago, it was reported that he was still alive, but that injury and poor health had forced him to relinquish control of the terror group.

In 2017, Russia claimed that the ISIS leader might have been among a group of ISIS members who were killed in a Russian air strike south of Raqqa, the group’s former de facto capital in Syria.

US officials had remained skeptical over reports of Baghdadi’s death. Former US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in July of 2017 he assumes that Baghdadi is still alive.




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