“He died like a dog and a coward,” says US President Donald Trump
The president of the United States, Donald Trump, announced this Sunday that the leader of the jihadist organization Islamic State, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, has died during an operation executed on Saturday by the special forces of the US Army in the Syrian town of Barisha, in the province of Idlib, near the border with Turkey.
“Abu Bakr al Baghdadi is dead. He was a sick and depraved man, who died as a coward, on the run and in between sobs,” said the US president. The leader of the Islamic State, Trump has confirmed, died in an underground tunnel with no exit after being immolated with an explosive vest in the last moments of the assault.
None of the US troops were injured during the operation, which lasted for two hours.
“He will never hurt a woman or a child again. He died like a dog. The world is now a safer place. God bless America,” Trump said.
The president has confirmed that US Intelligence had been aware of the whereabouts of Al Baghdadi for about two weeks, and that the operation was postponed three times due to the lack of reliability of the information received.
Finally, the assault was executed jointly by between 50 and 70 members of the Delta Force and the Rangers of the United States Army, after establishing their whereabouts without doubts: a residential complex located approximately five kilometers from the border with Turkey.
The operation also involved eight combat helicopters that departed from Erbil, the capital of the Iraqi Kurdistan region, and received “fire from the ground” during their approach to the complex, which “immediately annihilated” before beginning their air control mission .
Once on the ground, the operatives approached the flanks of the complex because “the front door had a trap bomb,” according to Trump, witness of the operation in a private room, where he was accompanied among others by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, the secretary of defense, Mark Esper, and the chiefs of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States Army.
The US president has confirmed that along with Al Bagdhadi “a large number of companions” of the terrorist leader have died, and that three children have died. Two of his wives would have died, either from the explosion or after detonating their own explosive belts, according to newsweek magazine sources, an aspect not verified by the president.
“Eleven young children were transferred out of the house and were not injured. The only ones left were Baghdadi in the tunnel and three of his young children whom he had dragged with him to certain death. He reached the end of the tunnel pursued by our dogs. He activated his vest and killed himself. He killed the three children, “the president described.
The US operatives successfully identified the face of Al Baghdadi, which was not hit by the explosion of the vest, according to US military sources.
In the attack his advisor Abu Said al Iraqi, a native of Tel Afar (Iraq), according to the Idlib News Network, related to the group, was also killed, and in turn cited by the Kurdish news agency Rudaw. US security sources also consider Ghazwan al Rawoui and Abu Mohammad al Halabi commanders dead.
The complex was subsequently destroyed by air forces to prevent it from becoming “a mausoleum for jihadist supporters.”
The Delta team that has executed the operation belongs to the Joint Special Operations Command, led by US Air Force Lieutenant General Scott A. Howell, and also oversees the actions of the Special Naval War Development Group, the well-known as Team 6, responsible for the assault that eight years ago ended the life of the leader of the terrorist organization Al Qaeda, Usama bin Laden, in Abbotabad (Pakistan).