U.S. Blacklists New Islamic State Leader
18 Mar 2020

The U.S. blacklisted the new leader of Islamic State as a specially designated global terrorist, the State Department said Tuesday.

The designation of Amir Muhammad Sa’id Abdal-Rahman al-Mawla comes as the U.S. continues to add pressure on ISIS, which the U.S. has designated as a foreign terrorist organization.

Efforts to reach Mr. Al-Mawla and ISIS for comment weren’t successful Tuesday.

Mr. Al-Mawla was previously active in al Qaeda in Iraq, according to the State Department. He rose through the ranks of ISIS and became the leader of the organization after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died in a U.S. raid, the State Department said.

Mr. Al-Mawla helped organize and attempt to justify the abduction, slaughter and trafficking of Yazidi religious minorities in northwest Iraq and oversees the group’s global operations, according to the State Department.

The U.S. on Tuesday also blacklisted the minister of defense in Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government. Ali Abdullah Ayoub, 68 years old, has prevented a cease-fire from taking hold in northern Syria since December 2019, the State Department said.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement that Mr. Assad’s regime, backed by Iran and Russia, has been responsible for continued shelling in Syria.

By Mengqi Sun, The Wall Street Journal, 17 March 2020

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