Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the chief of the Islamic State, has already been killed by the US special forces in a raid which took place in northwest Syria on Saturday, said Donald Trump, the President on Sunday during a press conference at the White House.
“Last night the United States brought the world’s number one terrorist leader to justice. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead,” Trump said. “He was the founder and leader of ISIS. The most ruthless and violent terror organization anywhere in the world. The United States has been searching for Baghdadi for many years. Capturing or killing Baghdadi has been the top national security priority of my administration.”
US President Donald Trump: Last night the United States brought the world's number one terrorist leader to justice. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead. He was the founder and leader of ISIS, the most ruthless and violent terror organisation anywhere in the world. pic.twitter.com/k1RoL4HlHX
— ANI (@ANI) October 27, 2019
Trump on late Saturday also tweeted that, “Something very big has just happened!” By the next morning, he thanked Russia, Turkey, Syria and Iraq, as well as Kurdish fighters in Syria for their support in the operation.
Something very big has just happened!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 27, 2019
Baghdadi, however, joined Al-Qaeda in Iraq, which later merged with other Islamist groups and formed the Islamic State of Iraq. In 2010, he became the group leader after his predecessor was killed by US forces and then he renamed the group to the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant which is widely known as ISIL or ISIS in 2013 and in 2014 it was announced his “caliphate” as well.
On the other hand, a senior security official from Iraq told The Associated Press that Iraqi intelligence had a crucial part in the operation. Moreover, Al-Baghdadi and his wife detonated explosive they were wearing during the US commando operation, as per the official, who was although not authorized to discuss anything in public as they are sensitive information and spoke only the condition of anonymity. He further added that other IS leaders were also killed in the attack.
However, the killing of al-Baghdadi will mark a significant success for Donald Trump.