As it was announced by President Trump earlier this week, U.S. Central Command has released a video from the al-Baghdadi raid. The daring, two-hour raid was captured on the drone footage which apparently shows US special operations forces taking small arms fire from multiple locations as their helicopters approached the compound.
The overhead drone footage also shows the Delta Force operators approaching al-Baghdadi’s compound settled in Syria’s Idlib province. In the next scene, the aerial strikes carried out by US F-15 fighter jets and MQ-9 Reaper Drones destroyed the site once Delta Operators are withdrawn to a safe distance.
A host at the Pentagon’s news conference was Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., commander of U.S. Central Command. He gave a play-by-play of the special operations forces raid on an ISIS compound in northern Syria last Saturday. The raid ended when Delta Forces cornered al-Baghdadi in a dead-end tunnel. When he saw that there is no way out, he activated his suicide vest.
Overall, U.S. special operations forces comprised of Delta Force and 75th Ranger Regiment operators killed six ISIS members – four women and another man aside from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – in the raid. McKenzie also clarified that al-Baghdadi’s suicide vest also killed two children he had brought with him into a tunnel when U.S. troops pursued him.
“He crawled into a hole with two small children and blew himself up while his people stayed on the ground,” the general said.
The death of a notorious ISIS leader was a milestone in the fight against ISIS. ISIS also known as ISIL or Islamic State brutalized swaths of Syria and Iraq for almost a decade. A yearslong campaign by American and allied forces led to the recapture of the group’s territorial holding, but its extreme ideology has continued to inspire attacks around the world.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s identity was confirmed by a DNA test conducted onsite.