WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday introduced that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, chief of violent jihadist group Islamic State, died throughout an in a single day raid led by U.S. army forces in Syria.
Here’s a description of the raid in accordance with Trump, who went into uncommon element throughout a nationwide tackle broadcast from the White Home.
* The USA started to obtain intelligence on the whereabouts of Baghdadi round a month in the past, together with some “useful” info from the Kurds, stated Trump. U.S. intelligence officers have been in a position to “scope out” his precise location two weeks in the past, whereas Trump himself turned conscious of the deliberate raid three days in the past. As a part of the plan, the USA needed to safe permission from Russia, Iraq and Turkey to fly over their airspace, in accordance with Trump and Nationwide Safety Adviser Robert O’Brien. Trump stated the White Home didn’t disclose the character of the operation to Russia, however informed Russian officers they might “like” it.
* On Saturday, Trump arrived again on the White Home at round four:30 p.m. native time (10:30pm in Syria) after a spherical of golf in Virginia, in accordance with his official schedule. At round 5 pm, he gathered within the White Home Scenario Room with Vice President Mike Pence, Protection Secretary Mark Esper, nationwide safety adviser Robert O’Brien, and different intelligence officers. They watched the raid unfold dwell “as if you happen to have been watching a film,” stated Trump.
* Moments after they gathered, U.S. army personnel and army canines lifted-off in eight helicopters from an unidentified army base within the Center East, in accordance with Trump. The personnel got here from the Delta Drive, one of many U.S. particular models primarily centered on counter-terrorism and infrequently deployed to seize high-value targets. A U.S. official informed Reuters the operation was staged from an airbase in western Iraq. The on-the-ground operation within the Idlib area of Syria was supported by army plane and ships, stated Trump. The operatives have been additionally outfitted with a army robotic however didn’t in the end use it.
* Upon approaching Baghdadi’s compound, the helicopters got here beneath gunfire however U.S. forces have been in a position to shortly suppress the assault and land safely. Believing the principle compound door to be booby trapped, they entered in simply seconds by blasting by the wall, stated Trump. “We have been getting full experiences on a minute-by-minute foundation,” he added.
* U.S. forces shortly cleared the compound “with folks both surrendering or being shot and killed,” stated Trump. Eleven kids have been eliminated, unhurt, and brought into care by a 3rd occasion whom the president declined to call. U.S. troopers captured and later imprisoned a number of Islamic State fighters.
* Baghdadi fled right into a subterranean space of the advanced and right into a tunnel, dragging three of his younger kids with him. Esper informed CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday that U.S. forces referred to as for Baghdadi to give up however the world’s most needed man refused. Chased by the canines and confronted by a useless finish, Baghdadi – “whimpering and crying and screaming,” in accordance with Trump – ignited his suicide vest, killing himself and his kids and inflicting the tunnel to break down. No army personnel have been harm though one canine was badly injured.
* With Baghdadi’s physique “mutilated by the blasts,” U.S. forces used a DNA take a look at onsite to substantiate his identification in round 15 minutes. “The take a look at outcomes gave sure, rapid and completely constructive identification. It was him,” stated Trump. Talking on NBC Information’ Meet The Press with Chuck Todd on Sunday, O’Brien stated: “We have been within the Scenario Room. And the commander of the mission referred to as and stated, ‘100% confidence, jackpot.”
* The troopers proceeded to go looking the compound, taking “extremely delicate materials” together with info on Islamic State’s origins and its future plans. In complete, U.S. forces have been within the compound for round two hours earlier than flying again out by way of the identical route they flew in.
* Baghdadi’s physique will likely be “disposed of correctly,” O’Brien stated, including that he anticipated it to be the identical protocol adopted in 2011 for Osama bin Laden. The al Qaeda chief was buried at sea after U.S. officers consulted with specialists in Islamic legislation and ritual.
Further reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir; writing by Michelle Value; enhancing by Mary Milliken and Nick Zieminski