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Rogers: Deaths of Baghdadi and Muhajir are a one-two punch to ISIS

Tuesday, Congressman Mike Rogers, R-Saks, commended President Donald Trump following the President’s announcement that U.S. forces have killed Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, a possible successor to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, just hours after our forces in Syria hunted down and killed al-Baghdadi, the longtime leader of Isis.

“The deaths of Baghdadi and Muhajir are a one-two punch to ISIS,” Rogers said. “I commend President Trump and Secretary Esper for capitalizing on new and rapidly developing intelligence to target and remove remaining ISIS leadership. Muhajir’s death makes clear our fight against ISIS is not over.”

On Tuesday, Pres. Trump announced Muhajir’s slaying on Twitter, “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!”

Late Monday, a senior State Department officer confirmed to reporters that the ISIS spokesman was killed by U.S. troops working closely with Syrian Democratic Forces troops. SDF commanding General Mazloum Abdi had announced the slaying of Muhajir earlier that day.

The Administration was still basking in the glory of the news that al-Baghdadi had been killed.

Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence (R) told troops at Fort Hood, “It’s a special privilege for me to be able to stand before each of you today. Because this past Sunday was a great day for America. It’s amazing. Thanks to the courage and professionalism of our Special Forces and thanks to the decisiveness of your Commander-in-Chief, the world’s number-one terrorist leader was brought to justice. The leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead.”

“Now, we’re grateful for everyone who made this possible,” Pence added. “We’re grateful for our intelligence community and all those who made this mission a success. But I have to tell all of you, to join President Trump in the Situation Room, Saturday night, and watch in real time as U.S. Special Forces descended on al-Baghdadi’s compound, executing their mission the Commander-in-Chief gave them flawlessly made me proud to be an American. Our troops, as the President Trump said, were “incredible. And by taking out the leader of ISIS, we’ve made measurable progress in the fight against radical Islamic terrorism. But as the President made clear, and all of you know, the United States of America will never relent in our commitment “to the enduring and total defeat of ISIS and any terrorist organization” that threatens our country.”

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“I know I don’t have to tell any of you that the fight against terrorism goes on,” Pence continued. “And III Corps is playing a leading role in our 76-nation coalition to defeat ISIS. In fact, III Corps was there, when by March of this year, our Armed Forces claimed the last inch of territory under the black flag of ISIS. The ISIS caliphate’s territory was defeated. As I stand here today, hundreds of your brothers and sisters in arms are deployed in that region, even as we speak.”

“The U.S. forces remaining in Syria have a multi-pronged mission of protecting critical infrastructure, working with partners to gather intelligence, and executing counterterrorism missions,” Rogers said. “Maintaining these efforts is vital to the continued fight against ISIS and regional stability.”

Congressman Mike Rogers is the Ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee and is a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, He is presently in his ninth term representing Alabama’s Third Congressional District.

(Original reporting by NBC News’ Allan Smith contributed to this report.)

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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