The operation was carried out after the CIA agents have acknowledged the al-Baghdadi’s possible whereabout. In coordination with Joint Special Operations Command, commonly known as JSOC, they have coordinated the raid which resulted in the death of al-Baghdadi. In addition to Delta Force, participating units under JSOC included the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne)—also known as “Night Stalkers”—and operators from the CIA’s Special Activities Division, which recruits heavily from former JSOC Special Mission Units. The operation ended a nearly 5-year search for al-Baghdadi since he announced the Islamic State califate in Mosul’s great mosque in April 2014.
At least 8 U.S. military helicopters with operators onboard have flown to Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, where the CIA agents have located al-Baghdadi. The al-Baghdadi was the target of the top-secret operation in the last bastion of the country’s Islamist-dominated opposition, a faction that has clashed with ISIS in recent years. The operators blew up the holes to enter the compound because the doors were bobby trapped.
In a brief firefight that followed the raid, shortly after the Delta Force operators entered the compound in Idlib’s Barisha village, notorious ISIS leader al-Baghdadi detonated his suicide vest killing himself on the scene. Family members were present. No children were harmed in the special operations raid but two Baghdadi wives were killed after detonating their own explosive vests.
The compound in which al-Baghdadi was located was then wiped out with an airstrike shortly after the Delta Force operators withdrawn from the scene. That was carried out in order to prevent the site from becoming a shrine to the notorious ISIS leader.
In an official statement, President Donald Trump revealed additional details of the operation. He said no U.S. personnel were killed in the operation although he noted a K-9 search dog was slightly injured. Alongside al-Baghdadi at least two wives and three of his children were killed after he activated a suicide vest. He praised brilliant American warriors who risked their lives to make the world a safer place.
The whole raid took no more than 2 hours, including more than hour helicopter needed for infil and exfil.