A top lieutenant of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a joint operation by U.S. troops and Kurdish forces in northwestern Syria this weekend, the leader of Kurdish forces in Syria said, according to The Associated Press.
Mazloum Abdi said the joint forces killed ISIS spokesman Abu Hassan al-Mujahir late Sunday near the town of Jarablus hours after an operation in Idlib province that reportedly killed al-Baghdadi.
Although U.S. forces did not comment to the AP on the claim, the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported al-Mujahir’s death Sunday, saying U.S. and Kurdish forces attacked a convoy he was traveling in that included a fuel tanker and a sedan.
“Reliable sources said that there were several members of the ‘Islamic State’ Organization being smuggled through boxes, and when they came under fire they all died inside boxes of the tanker, where sources of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that 4 people were killed in the targeting,” the group said in a statement.
“The Observatory also learned that the area is witnessing an extensive presence of members of the ‘Islamic State’ Organization, which means that the area will witness more of those targeting of members of the organization in the coming period,” the statement added.
Al-Mujahir went by a pseudonym and his real name has yet to be revealed. He assumed the role of spokesman for the organization when his predecessor was killed by an airstrike in 2016, according to the AP.