Washington — US President Donald Trump announced on Sunday that ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was killed after a “daring and dangerous” operation led by the US military forces in Syria.
Trump said that he was chased by Dogs till the end of the tunnel, and he ignited his vest, by eventually killing himself and his three children.
His body was mutilated by the blasts and the tunnel caved on him, Trump added.
“The thug who tried so hard to intimidate others spent his last moments in utter fear, panic and dread, terrified of the American forces coming down on him,” the US President said in a televised address to the nation from the White House.
Meanwhile, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said that the operation was successful after Kurd intelligence pinpointed Al-Baghdadi’s location. Iraq also claims to have given his location.
“After constant monitoring and the formation of a specialised task force over an entire year, the Iraqi National Intelligence Service acting on accurate information was able to locate the den in which the head of Daesh terrorists Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and those with him were hiding in the Syrian province of Idlib,” the Iraqi military said.
Iraqi state television published a video claiming to be the blast site. The site was full of rubble and clothes strewn around a huge crater.
Trump was criticized recently by the Democrats for possibly helping ISIS regain power in the region after he had decided to pull-off the US forces from Syria. However, Trump had first negated the claim with a mysterious Tweet “Something very big has just happened!” before announcing the death of Al-Baghdadi.
Turkish intelligence also claimed their part in the accomplishment.
Turkish Defense Minstry said, “Prior to the US Operation in Idlib Province of Syria last night, information exchange and coordination between the military authorities of both countries took place.”
Ali Bakr, an expert on Islamist movements, told media that it was interesting Baghdadi was hiding next to the Turkish border, especially with the history between Turkey and Daesh.
On the Scene
A War Monitor agency said that US helicopters dropped forces in an area of Syria’s Idlib province where groups linked to ISIS were present.
The helicopters targeted a home and a car outside the village of Barisha in Idlib province. The operation killed nine people including ISIS senior leader Abu Yamaan along with a child and two women.
An AFP correspondent outside Barisha saw a minibus scorched to cinders by the side of the road, and windows shattered in a neighbor’s house.
A resident of the area who called himself Abdul Hameed said that he rushed to the spot of the attack after he heard helicopters, gunfire and strikes in the night.
“The home had collapsed and next to it there was a destroyed tent and vehicle. There were two people killed inside” the car, he said.
Al-Baghdadi led ISIS for the last five years with the so-called Islamic Caliphate famous for beheadings and the gory acts. US announced $25 million as bounty on his head.
He gained fame after a Friday sermon was released online where he was shown wearing absolute black-attire similar to that of Iranian Mullah regime.
Gradually, ISIS spread its tentacles across the middle-East by carrying out suicide missions targeting Saudi Arabia, one of their most heinous attacks was on the Prophet’s mosque in Madina in July 2016.