Doubts over Trump's dramatic account of Baghdadi raid

Tuesday, 29 Oct, 2019

He killed himself in October 2019, while under attack from United States forces.

Trump suggested that other countries, including Russian Federation, carry on the fight against IS, but there is no indication that USA forces will abandon the mission any time soon.

Trump was firm on not disclosing details about the raid before the USA military was able to successfully complete the mission and return home safe. Trump also gave an accounting of the number of aircraft involved in the mission, and the amount of time al-Baghdadi had been in intelligence officials' sites before the raid.

"Our job is to stay on top of that and to make sure that we continue to take out their leadership", Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on ABC's "This Week".

He said valuable intelligence about Baghdadi's future plans were found during the raid and that the United States would pursue whomever assumed the leadership of IS.

Trump reveled in what he described as the "ruthless", "vicious" and "violent" killing of the ISIS leader, claiming that he died like a "coward" and a "dog".

"Had this escalated, had something gone wrong, had we gotten into a firefight with the Russians, it's to the administration's advantage to be able to say, 'We informed Congress we were going in, they were aware of the risks".

The personnel came from the Delta Force, one of the USA special units mainly focused on counter-terrorism and often deployed to capture high-value targets.

The operation began on Saturday evening (US time) when a team of elite USA troops were flown to a compound in Syria's north-western Idlib province.

The operatives were also equipped with a military robot but did not ultimately use it.

The first inkling that something was afoot came when villagers saw helicopters swooping low on the horizon.

". The possible intensification of jihadist propaganda following this death, which could possibly call for acts of vengeance, requires the most extreme vigilance, notable during public events in your departments in coming days", Castaner said.

Under conditions of a mass upsurge that has seen millions take to the streets to demand an end to capitalist oppression and social inequality-from Chile to Lebanon-along with a resurgence of strikes in the U.S. by autoworkers, teachers and other sections of the working class, the danger is that extra-judicial killings will be increasingly utilized as a tool of social repression both at home and overseas.

U.S. forces quickly cleared the compound "with people either surrendering or being shot and killed", he said. Eleven children in the compound were removed uninjured, he said.

The soldiers blew a hole in the side of the main building, suspecting the entrance was booby-trapped, and chased al-Baghdadi into the network of tunnels below.

President Trump's announcement on Sunday was the most significant statement of the death of a major terror leader since the then President Barack Obama revealed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's killing by US Navy Seals in Pakistan's garrison city of Abbottabad in May 2011.

No military personnel were hurt although one dog was badly injured. Baghdadi, the ISIS leader who had a USA $25 million bounty on his head, died on Saturday evening after US-led special forces raided his compound in Idlib Province, where he was hiding along with members of his family and some close aides.

The daring raid was the culmination of years of steady intelligence-gathering work - and 48 hours of hurry-up planning once Washington got word that al-Baghdadi would be at a compound in northwestern Syria. Mr Trump said the fighters were now imprisoned and that the children had been "left under care of somebody", without saying who that was.

Mr Wallace said he welcomed the U.S. action.

National security adviser Robert O'Brien told NBC the commander of the mission called the Situation Room and said: "With 100 per cent confidence, jackpot".

The recent pullback of US troops he ordered from northeastern Syria raised a storm of bipartisan criticism in Washington that the militant group could regain strength after it had lost vast stretches of territory it had once controlled.