Sunday, President Trump announced that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died during an overnight raid led by US military forces in Syria, a major victory.
President Trump said the world’s most wanted terrorist died “whimpering and crying and screaming.”
No US personnel were lost in the operation, however “many” of al-Baghdadi’s fighters or companions were killed with him, our President said.
Al-Baghdadi’s body was mutilated after he detonated a suicide vest while fleeing into a tunnel, but DNA test results provided a positive identification, President Trump said. The President watched the operation Saturday in the White House Situation Room with Cabinet members and Top military and intelligence officials.
Al-Baghdadi was the highest-ranking terrorist leader killed or captured since Osama bin Laden was killed in Y 2011 during the Obama administration.
This operations by US Special Forces focused on the northwestern province of Idlib.
“Our reach is very long,” President Trump said. “Baghdadi has been on the run for many years, long before I took office. But at my direction, as commander in chief of the united states, we obliterated his caliphate 100% in March of this year. Today’s events are another reminder that we will continue to pursue the remaining ISIS terrorists to their brutal end.”
The operation was built on CIA planning alone. President Trump gave the orders.
President Trump said a Tweet sent late Saturday night that “Something very big has just happened!” was sent shortly after the operation was completed and US military helicopters had returned safely to “a friendly country.”
President Trump at the White House thanked Russia, Syria, Iraq and the Syrian Kurds for their help in the operation.
The US informed Turkey before the raid that al-Baghdadi arrived at the Idlib location 48 hrs before the strike. Turkey pledges to continue cooperation with allies in the fight against Islamic State.
The death of al-Baghdadi is a boost to President Trump, who’s faced bipartisan criticism after his 6 October announcement pulling forces back in the face of a Turkish military offensive in northern Syria. The move prompted even Republican supporters to say he was abandoning Kurdish allies of the US who had helped defeat Islamic State’s “caliphate.” Such criticism of our Commander in Chief were without any foundation, just loose media talk.
The Kurdish-led Syrian Defense Forces, who led the fight against Islamic State on the ground in Syria, said they were involved in the “successful and effective operation,” and will keep working with global partners in the fight against the terror organization, according to a Tweet by SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali.
Idlib has been a refuge for jihadist forces, many with links to al-Qaeda, that had held off efforts by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s military to retake the region. It has increasingly become the focus of Syria’s efforts, backed by Russia, to secure control over the country after more than 8 years of civil war.
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