Baghdadi's death unlikely to crush ISIS: Analysts

A destroyed truck at the spot where ISIS spokesman Abu Hassan al-Muhajir was reportedly killed in a raid in the northern Syrian village of Ayn al-Bayda. He was the right-hand man of late ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who died in a US raid. PHOTO:
A destroyed truck at the spot where ISIS spokesman Abu Hassan al-Muhajir was reportedly killed in a raid in the northern Syrian village of Ayn al-Bayda. He was the right-hand man of late ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who died in a US raid. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

The violent death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a raid by US forces is a significant blow to the world's most fearsome terrorist group. But analysts said it was unlikely to freeze attempts by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) franchises and sympathisers around the world to sow mayhem in the name of their extremist ideology.

US President Donald Trump announced Baghdadi's death during a heavily choreographed address at the White House on Sunday, providing him with a made-for-TV moment he hoped would strengthen his faltering presidency.

Hours after his statement, the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia said ISIS spokesman Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, described as Baghdadi's right-hand man, was also killed in a separate joint raid by Kurdish-led and US forces in northern Syria.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 29, 2019, with the headline 'Baghdadi's death unlikely to crush ISIS: Analysts'. Print Edition | Subscribe