Trump says Baghdadi's top replacement also killed


People look at a destroyed houses near the village of Barisha, in Idlib province, Syria, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (Photo: AP)

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.

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.