US designates ISIS leader as global terrorist
Muhammad Al Mawli played a major part in atrocities against Yazidis in Iraq, US State Department says
The US government on Tuesday named the new leader of ISIS, Muhammad Al Mawla, as a specially designated global terrorist.
“We remain committed to ISIS’s enduring defeat, no matter who they name as their leader,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said while announcing the decision.
Al Mawla, of Iraqi-Turkmen descent, was appointed leader of the group after the killing of Abubakr Al Baghdadi last October.
He is also known as Abu Ibrahim Al Qurashi, Hajji Abdallah, Abdul Amir Salbi, and Abu Umar Al Turkmani.
The State Department said Al Mawla was “active in ISIS’s predecessor organisation, Al Qaeda in Iraq, and steadily rose through the ranks of ISIS to become the deputy amir.”
“Al Mawla helped to drive and attempt to justify the abduction, slaughter, and trafficking of Yazidi religious minorities in north-west Iraq and oversees the group’s global operations,” the department said.
Last November, the US put a bounty of $5 million (Dh18.3m) for Al Mawla’s capture through its “rewards for justice” programme.
The US also sanctioned the Syrian Defence Minister, Lt Gen Ali Ayoub, for “his deliberate actions since December 2019 to prevent a ceasefire from taking hold in northern Syria”.
It said that obstruction “resulted in almost a million people being displaced and in dire need of humanitarian aid in the middle of a cold winter in Idlib".
“We stand on the side of the Syrian people while the Assad regime and its Iranian and Russian enablers continue their illusory quest for a military solution in Syria,” Mr Pompeo said.
Updated: March 18, 2020 03:00 PM