US seeks strengthened anti-ISIS coalition after al-Baghdadi’s death

(VOVWORLD) - The US wants to support a coalition fighting the Islamic State (ISIS) in northeastern Syria, a senior State Department official said on Monday, after the leader of the jihadi movement, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed in a weekend operation.

The official said that President Donald Trump, by announcing the withdrawal of US forces from northern Syria last month, did not suggest that Washington was abandoning the fight against ISIS. The official told reporters that there was never an idea that the US would abandon the mission of going after ISIS, adding foreign ministers will meet in Washington next month to discuss steps to enhance the coalition presence in northeastern Syria.

Mark Milley, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said on Monday that al-Baghdadi's remains were quickly disposed of at sea hours after he blew himself up during a US raid on his compound in north-west Syria. Defense officials said they had followed the same protocol as with the body of Osama bin Laden, who was also buried at sea after he was killed in a raid in Pakistan in 2011.

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