Islamic State’s self-styled Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed (once again) in a United States Special Ops overnight raid Saturday involving helicopters, warplanes and a ground clash on the Turkey-Syria border while fleeing Syria’s northwestern Idlib Governorate, with President Trump making a “major statement” of the biggest symbolic victory of his administration in the war against terrorism.
Baghdadi was targeted in an overnight mission which involved a “complex airborne” Delta Force raid backed up by CIA and SDF intel and took place in Syria’s Idlib region; Bloomberg adds that Iraq provided “precise information” to coalition forces that “contributed to reaching the terrorist al-Baghdadi and killing him,” while noting that the successful operation hinged on CIA info. There was no mention in the White House press briefing that Baghdadi was a CIA asset for at least 3-4 years of the Syrian “uprising”.
Baghdadi reportedly blew himself up using a suicide vest, which is convenient considering there were at least three previous confirmed reports of his death.
“Last night, the United States brought the world’s number one terrorist leader to justice,” Trump said in remarks from the East Room of the White House. “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead.”
“Baghdadi’s demise demonstrates America’s relentless pursuit of terrorist leaders and our commitment to the enduring and total defeat of ISIS and other terrorist organizations” Trump added.
That said, despite praising Russian involvement in the mission, the Russian Ministry of Defence said on Sunday it had no reliable information on the U.S. operation, the country’s RIA news agency reported after U.S. President Donald Trump confirmed his death.
“The Russian Ministry of Defence does not have reliable information on the U.S. servicemen conducting in the Turkish-controlled part of the de-escalation zone of Idlib an operation on yet another ‘elimination’ of the former IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” Major-General Igor Konashenkov was quoted by RIA as saying.