ISIS leader al-Baghdadi blew himself up when US Delta Force troops arrived to capture him
BREAKING: ISIS terror group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is believed to have been eliminated in a raid conducted by US Delta Forces in northwest Syria. The final confirmation is pending while DNA and biometric testing are conducted.
According to reports, Muslim arch-terrorist al-Baghdadi blew himself and two wives up with a suicide vest when US special operations troops arrived to capture him.
The mission was carried out around midnight in Syria after the US received actionable intelligence regarding Baghdadi in recent days.
“No US Special Operations forces were hurt or killed in the raid to kill Abu Bakr al Baghdadi,” a U.S. defense official said.
According to official sources, 50-70 American military service members from the US Army Delta Force and Rangers were involved in the raid.
Videos posted online show coalition airstrikes on al-Baghdadi’s compound in Idlib, gunfire and the aftermath: a burned car, charred bodies, torn limbs left at the scene and a housing complex that has been reduced to rubble.
⚠️ GRAPHIC VIDEO
Iraq was informed by sources in Syria that al-Baghdadi has been killed.
“Our sources from inside Syria have confirmed to the Iraqi intelligence team tasked with pursuing Baghdadi that he has been killed alongside his personal bodyguard in Idlib after his hiding place was discovered when he tried to get his family out of Idlib towards the Turkish border,” said one of the sources.
Iraqi intelligence provided exact coordinates of al-Baghdadi’s location to the US-led coalition, an Iraq intelligence official said.
Kurdish SDF chief Mazloum Abdi announced a “joint historic operation with US forces” with no further details, hours after reports on the elimination of al-Baghdadi surfaced.
Eight US helicopters and two drones participated in the operation, which lasted 90 minutes, Turkey’s official news agency reported. Turkish military authorities exchanged information and coordinated with US agencies before the operation in Idlib, the Ministery of Defense said in a statement.
A US official said that Turkey played no role in assisting the operation though the operation was deconflicted with the Turkish military due to its proximity to Turkey’s border. The official also said the Kurdish-led SDF did provide some intelligence support to the operation.
Initial reports indicate that helicopters pulled bodies from the site and took two terrorists alive.
A senior Iraqi official said that they arrested one of al-Baghdadi’s wives, his nephew, and al-Baghdadi’s courier’s wife in September. In interviews, the latter gave up information on the leader’s whereabouts and the coordinates in Idlib. “He wasn’t very mobile,” the official said.
The reports surfaced soon after President Trump posted a tweet saying something “very big has just happened!” and the White House said it would make a “major statement” on Sunday at 9 a.m.
Al-Baghdadi has been in hiding for the last five years. In April, released a new audio recording calling on its Muslim terrorists to carry out more terror attacks in order to release jailed ISIS terrorists and jihadist women held in camps.
In a video posted by the terror group along with the audio recording, al-Baghdad is seen sitting with a suicide vest by his side.
Al-Baghdadi has been declared dead on several occasions in the past.
Al-Baghdadi, who was born in Iraq, became a key figure in the al-Qaeda in Iraq terror group. In 2013, ISI declared its absorption with an al-Qaeda-backed terror group in Syria and al-Baghdadi said that his group will now be known as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS).
UPDATE: President Trump gave a press conference at the White House. Last night the US brought the “world’s greatest terrorist leader to justice. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead,” he said.
Baghdadi was “a sick and depraved man and now he’s gone”. He was “vicious and violent and he died in a vicious and violent way”, he added.