al-Baghdadi death a ‘heavy blow’ to ISIS

World News

October 28, 2019 - 10:17 AM

President Donald Trump declared Sunday that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, here in an undated file video frame from Al Furqaan Media, was dead after a U.S. military raid in northwest Syria. ZUMA PRESS/ROPI/TNS

WASHINGTON (AP) — Eliminating the Islamic State group’s elusive leader gives President Donald Trump a new argument for leaving Syria, but the U.S. military campaign against the extremists is far from finished.

The killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by U.S. forces leaves the Islamic State without an obvious leader, a major setback for an organization that in March was forced by American troops and Kurdish forces out of the last portion of its self-declared “caliphate,” which once spanned a swath of Iraq and Syria.

But the militant group, which arose from the remnants of al-Qaida in Iraq after that group’s defeat by U.S.-led forces in 2008, has ambitions to regenerate again. And it remains a dangerous threat in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond.

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