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The Debate

After Baghdadi: What next for Islamic State group after US raid?

THE DEBATE
THE DEBATE FRANCE 24

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was not in Iraq after all - nor anywhere near the remnants of his former "caliphate". US helicopters flew all the way over to northwest Syria's Idlib province, near the border with Turkey, to carry out Saturday's raid against the leader of the so-called Islamic State group, this in an area that's a stronghold of jihadist rivals al Qaeda. In a region replete with lots of outside powers, all claiming to be fighting terrorism, what does that say? And what to make of an operation perhaps precipitated by Donald Trump's abrupt decision to pull out of Syria?

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In life as in death, Baghdadi's public relations war will continue. So will radicals remember the Iraqi-born insurgence leader as a jihadist version of Che Guevara, or ultimately as a loser?

Loser, a term dear to the current president of the United States. How will Donald Trump's handling of the operation compare with the one ordered by his predecessor Barack Obama against Osama bin Laden eight years ago? How much has changed?

Produced by Alessandro Xenos, Juliette Laurain and Julia Dorner.

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