News analysis

ISIS strike will boost Trump's credibility, at least in short term

US President Donald Trump makes a statement at the White House following reports that US forces attacked ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in northern Syria, in Washington, on Oct 27, 2019.
US President Donald Trump makes a statement at the White House following reports that US forces attacked ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in northern Syria, in Washington, on Oct 27, 2019. PHOTO: WHITE HOUSE

The killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in northern Syria by US forces is a boost for President Donald Trump at a time when his foreign policy decisions and claims have been questioned amid an impeachment inquiry conducted by the opposition-controlled House.

While the unrelated impeachment inquiry will rumble on, the successful operation will at least temporarily placate critics - importantly including those like Senator Lindsey Graham from the Republican Party - alarmed that Mr Trump's recent pullback of US troops from north-eastern Syria may create room for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to rebound.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 28, 2019, with the headline 'ISIS strike will boost Trump's credibility, at least in short term'. Print Edition | Subscribe