Trump confirms ‘Islamic State’ leader al-Baghdadi killed in US operation

WASHINGTON.- El presidente de EE.UU., Donald Trump, anunció hoy la muerte del líder del Estado Islámico (EI), Al Bagdadi, en una operación militar de su país en el noroeste de Siria.

«Abu Bakr Al Bagdadi está muerto», informó Trump en una declaración a la nación desde la Casa Blanca.

«Anoche EEUU hizo justicia con el terrorista número uno del mundo», agregó.

Al Bagdadi se suicidó con un cinturón de explosivos al final de un túnel tras ser perseguido durante la acción de los comandos estadounidenses

«Murió como un perro, como un cobarde», subrayó el presidente.

Trump felicitó a las fuerzas especiales y los servicios de inteligencia estadounidenses por una «operación muy, muy peligrosa».

El mandatario agradeció, asimismo, la colaboración de Turquía, Rusia, Siria, Irak y los kurdos para localizar al jefe del EI.

EFE/SPLL

Trump confirms ‘Islamic State’ leader al-Baghdadi killed in US operation

ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is believed to have been killed in commando raid. (Al-Furqan media via AP)

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a special forces operation in the Syrian province of Idlib, according to the US president. His death is considered a crippling blow to the once-influential militant group.

US President Donald Trump on Sunday announced that US special forces had killed “Islamic State” (IS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in northern Syria.

“Last night, the United States brought the world’s number one terrorist leader to justice,” Trump said. “Al-Baghdadi is dead.”

“He reached the end of the tunnel as our dogs chased him down,” Trump added. Al-Baghdadi detonated a vest laden with explosives when he was cornered in the tunnel. The explosion killed three of his children.

US special forces were able to identify al-Baghdad 15 minutes after he was killed by conducting a DNA test on-site. The DNA test was crucial given that al-Baghdadi had been declared dead numerous times.

There were no US casualties during the operation.

‘Last moments in utter fear’

US soldiers were able to capture critical material about the organization, including information about their origins and future plans, according to Trump.

Trump said US intelligence knew about his whereabouts for “a couple of weeks.”

“He spent his last moments in utter fear, in panic and dread, terrified of American forces coming down on him,” Trump said. “He was a sick and depraved man, and now he is gone.”

End of an era

Al-Baghdadi rose to notoriety when he announced the creation of a so-called caliphate in Syrian and Iraqi territories captured by his terror group in 2014.

The general commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, which spearheaded the fight against IS with US backing, claimed to have played an integral part in the intelligence operation leading to al-Baghdadi’s killing.

Iraqi authorities said they had located al-Baghdadi and provided the intelligence to the US.

Trump thanked Russia, Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Syrian Kurds for their contributions to the operation’s success.

IS has lost most of the territory it captured following several offensives from regional and international actors. Iraq formally declared victory over the group two years ago after liberating Mosul, once considered IS’ de facto capital in the country.

More from the original source: https://www.dw.com/en/trump-confirms-islamic-state-leader-al-baghdadi-killed-in-us-operation/a-51007825