The United States confirmed the killing of Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir, Islamic State spokesman and a high-ranking figure in the jihadi group, in a US operation, according to a senior State Department official.
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.
Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) General Commander Mazloum Abdi said it was “a continuation of the previous operation” in which Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed over the weekend. Mazloum said the jihadist spokesman was Baghdadi’s right-hand man.
Muhajir was killed in the Syrian town Jarablus in Aleppo province, said the US official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The operation which led to “the demise of his (Baghdadi) number two, or one of his number twos,” was carried out by US forces, the official said, adding the SDF had a major role in it.
Baghdadi, an Iraqi jihadist who rose from obscurity to declare himself “caliph” of all Muslims as the leader of Islamic State, died by detonating a suicide vest after fleeing into a dead-end tunnel as elite US special operations forces closed in over the weekend.
Islamic State has no declared successor as leader. The group has in the past proved resilient, continuing to mount or inspire attacks despite losing most of its territory in recent years.