Thursday 21 November 2019
 
»
 
»
Story

IS leader Baghdadi 'killed in Syria by US forces'

WASHINGTON, 25 days ago

Islamic State leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi was believed to have been killed in a US military operation in Syria, said media reports citing sources in Syria, Iraq and Iran, as US President Donald Trump prepared to make a "major statement" at the White House.

A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters on Sunday that Baghdadi was targeted in the overnight raid but was unable to say whether the operation was successful.

A commander of one of the militant factions in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib said Baghdadi was believed to have been killed in a raid after midnight on Saturday involving helicopters, warplanes and a ground clash in the village of Brisha near the Turkish border.

Two Iraqi security sources and two Iranian officials said they had received confirmation from inside Syria that Baghdadi had been killed.

"Iran was informed about Baghdadi's death by Syrian officials who got it from the field," one of the officials said.

Newsweek, which first reported the news, said it had been told by a US Army official briefed on the raid that Baghdadi was dead. It said the operation was carried out by special operations forces after receiving actionable intelligence.

The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Baghdadi was long thought to hiding somewhere along the Iraq-Syria border. He has led the group since 2010, when it was still an underground al Qaeda offshoot in Iraq.

On September 16, Islamic State's media network issued a 30-minute audio message purporting to come from Baghdadi, in which he said operations were taking place daily and called on supporters to free women jailed in camps in Iraq and Syria over their alleged links to his group.

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley announced late on Saturday that Trump would make a "major statement" at 9 a.m. EST (1300 GMT) on Sunday.

Gidley gave no further details as to the topic of Trump's statement.

The president gave an indication that something was afoot earlier on Saturday night when he tweeted without explanation, "Something very big has just happened!"




Tags:

More INTERNATIONAL NEWS Stories

calendarCalendar of Events

Ads