Trump says likely Baghdadi successor killed by U.S. troops

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., October 28, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the U.S. military had killed the person who likely would have succeeded Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the leader of Islamic State.

“Just confirmed that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s number one replacement has been terminated by American troops,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Most likely would have taken the top spot.”

Trump was referring to Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir, Islamic State spokesman and a high-ranking figure within the jihadi group, an administration official said.

Muhajir was killed on Sunday in a joint raid between Kurdish-led and U.S. forces in northern Syria, a senior State Department official confirmed on Monday.

Trump on Sunday announced the killing of Baghdadi by U.S. special operations forces in northwestern Syria.

Reporting by Tim Ahmann and Steve Holland; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Chizu Nomiyama