The president of United States of America, Donald Trump, has confirmed the death of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdad.
Speaking during a press conference at the White House, Trump said the U.S. soldiers killed Baghdadi in a raid in Syria on Saturday, October 26, 2019.
Trump said the ISIS leader had ignited a vest he was wearing, leading to the mutilation of his body and the death of three children.
“Last night, the United States brought the world’s number one terrorist leader to justice,” the president said from the White House. “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead,” Trump said.
Trump said U.S. soldiers engaged in a firefight for two hours and had cleared the compound when al-Baghdadi fled to a “dead-end tunnel,” bringing three of his children with him. As U.S. operators and K-9 units pursued him, al-Baghdadi detonated a suicide vest, killing himself and the children. Mr. Trump said al-Baghdadi was “whimpering and crying and screaming all the way.”
The president said U.S. forces were able to confirm al-Baghdadi’s identity through DNA testing on the scene, noting his body was under rubble and badly mutilated. He said “large number” of fighters were killed in addition to al-Baghdadi.
“Baghdadi and the losers who worked for him, and losers they are, they had no idea what they were getting into. In some cases, they were very frightened puppies,” the president said. “He died like a dog. He died like a coward. The world is now a much safer place. God bless America.”
No U.S. service members were killed in the raid but one dog was hurt, Mr. Trump said. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told ABC’s “This Week” that two service members suffered minor injuries but are already back on duty. The president said the troops involved “accomplished their mission in grand style” and collected a trove of sensitive intelligence related to ISIS.