President Donald Trump stirred social media Tuesday when he revealed that U.S. troops "terminated" the likely successor to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was killed in a raid over the weekend. According to the president, the unidentified "number one replacement has been terminated by American troops."
"Just confirmed that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's number one replacement has been terminated by American troops. Most likely would have taken the top spot - Now he is also Dead!" Trump tweeted.
The White House did not immediately clarify which ISIS leader he was referencing, but a State Department official confirmed Monday that a strike did kill ISIS spokesman Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir in a strike on Sunday, CBS News reports.
You took down the ISIS leader & his replacement?
Best. President. Ever.— #ThePersistence (@ScottPresler) October 29, 2019
This is a win for the several years of military preparedness that came from years before this administration. To the US and allied military officials who had to work through this President's constant attempts to shape their victories as his, I say congrats!— Steward Beckham (@iTweetyNerd) October 29, 2019
You were golfing you knew nothing about this.— Hoodlum 🇺🇸 (@HoodlumRIP) October 29, 2019
While many Twitter users celebrated the American victory in taking down key ISIS leaders, others criticized Trump, calling it a victory for the "several years of military preparedness that came from years before this administration."
During Trump's formal announcement from the White House's Diplomatic Room Sunday morning, he took pride in the death of al-Baghdadi. "He died like a dog. He died like a coward," Trump said, also revealing that the U.S. forces dealt with local gunfire during the raid.
On Monday, Trump continued to highlight al-Badghdadi's death as a mark of the United States' success against ISIS.
"He was a sick and depraved man and now he's dead," Trump told police chiefs during a speech in Chicago. "He's dead, he's dead as a doornail. And he didn't die bravely either, I will tell you that. He should have been killed years ago. Another president should have gotten him."
"But to me it was very important, I would say all the time, they would walk into my office, 'Sir, we killed this leader at a level, this leader at-' I said I never heard of him, I want al-Baghdadi, that's the only one I know now, I want al-Baghdadi, get him, and they got him."
Now you are the world’s most wanted terrorist.— Jeffrey Guterman (@JeffreyGuterman) October 29, 2019
You didn’t even know who al-Baghdadi was until last week.— Little Ryan (@rycentennial) October 29, 2019
The Pentagon is expected to release video of the raid in Syria that killed al-Baghdadi. The mission was carried out by United States Special Operations commandos, with assistance from the Central Intelligence Agency. After the CIA located al-Baghdadi, the commandos moved in to take him out. The U.S. has been searching for al-Baghdadi for years and even reportedly put a $25 million bounty on him in years past. Many previous reports of his death have turned out to be false.