London — When Donald Trump announced the killing of the leader of Islamic State (IS) on Sunday in a US operation, he hailed it as an immediate change to global security. The death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the US president said, had brought a brutal killer to justice and would make the world “a much safer place”.

Baghdadi’s death was undoubtedly a symbolic blow for a once-potent terror group which is losing its power, analysts said: earlier in 2019, IS surrendered the final portion of its self-proclaimed caliphate, a sliver of territory in north-eastern Syria, to US-backed forces.

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