ISIS leader al-Baghdadi killed in US raid in Syria, Trump confirms

US President Donald Trump has announced that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed during a US military raid in northwest Syria, confirming an avalanche of rumors on the terrorist’s death.

“Al-Baghdadi has been killed… in a daring nighttime raid,” Trump said in a live address from the White House.

The US troops involved in the elimination of the terrorist “accomplished the mission in grand style,” he said. The IS leader met his end “crying and screaming” due to being terrified by Americans might, Trump boasted.

He died like a dog, like a coward. The world now is a much safer place.

Military choppers and even drones provided air cover as US special forces engaged targets on the ground in Idlib province – the last major terrorist stronghold in the country.

Al-Baghdadi escaped to a tunnel dug under his hideout and took three of his young children.  He was chased by the dogs and when he reached the dead end the terrorist detonated the suicide vest he was wearing.

The IS leader and his children died on site, Trump confirmed, saying the body of the notorious militant “was mutilated”, but the tests allowed to identify him.

Also on rt.com Who was Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi? Here’s what you need to know about the infamous ISIS leader

The US forces suffered no casualties during the two-hour-long raid, with only a dog, which chased the terrorist into the tunnel, being hurt. Meanwhile, “many” of al-Baghdadi’s fighters and associates were killed. Washington also obtained “highly sensitive materials,” which will reveal a lot about IS activities and future plans, Trump said.

The president also praised the “great cooperation” with Russia during the op as Moscow opened up the airspace under its control in Syria to American planes when Washington asked for it.

The US has been after al-Baghdadi for many years, but was only able to scope out his whereabouts a few weeks ago, he said. Hours before Trump’s announcement, a commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Mazloum Abdi, hailed the “successful, historic operation as a result of joint intelligence work with the US.”

Also on rt.com Trump thanks Russia, Turkey, Syria, Iraq & Kurds for aiding US operation that killed al-Baghdadi

The Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) leader’s whereabouts were unknown for years. He made public appearances only a handful of times since founding his “worldwide caliphate” in 2014.

There have been previous reports of al-Baghdadi’s death, but none were confirmed. At the height of its power, al-Baghdadi’s terrorist group controlled vast swathes of Iraq and Syria. The Syrian Army, aided by Iran and Russia, has nearly eradicated the group from its territory.

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