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ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a special forces operation in the Syrian province of Idlib, according to the US president. His death is considered a crippling blow to the once-influential militant group.

US President Donald Trump on Sunday announced that US special forces had killed “Islamic State” (IS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in northern Syria.

“Last night, the United States brought the world’s number one terrorist leader to justice,” Trump said. “Al-Baghdadi is dead.”

Al-Baghdadi rose to notoriety when he announced the creation of a so-called caliphate in Syrian and Iraqi territories captured by his terror group in 2014.

US media had earlier reported that al-Baghdadi was targeted by a US operation but did not detail whether he had been killed.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, which spearheaded the fight against IS with US backing, claimed to have played an integral part in the intelligence operation leading to al-Baghdadi’s killing.

IS has lost most of the territory it captured following several offensives from regional and international actors. Iraq formally declared victory over the group two years ago after liberating Mosul, once considered IS’ de facto capital in the country.

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