Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi raid was an American military operation executed on October 27, 2019, in Syria’s Idlib province. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the notorious Islamic State (also known as IS, ISIS, ISIL), killed himself after being cornered by Delta Force operators. The mission was carried out by the United States 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D), also known as Delta Force. The Delta Force is considered a Tier 1 unit.
The operation was carried out after the CIA agents acknowledged al-Baghdadi’s possible whereabouts. In coordination with Joint Special Operations Command, commonly known as JSOC, they 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 withdrew from the scene. That was carried out in order to prevent the site from becoming a shrine to the notorious ISIS leader.
Identification of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
The identification of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was carried out right after he committed suicide. Delta operators on the scene took DNA samples and performed a Rapid DNA test already prepared for the mission. Final confirmation comes a few days after the operation.
The FBI defines Rapid DNA as “the fully automated (hands-free) process of developing a CODIS Core Loci STR profile from a reference sample buccal swab. The “swab in – profile out” process consists of automated extraction, amplification, separation, detection, and allele calling without human intervention.”
In an official statement, President Donald Trump revealed additional details of the Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi raid. He said no U.S. personnel were killed in the raid, 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 operators who risked their lives to make the world a safer place.
The Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi raid took no more than 2 hours, including more than an hour of helicopter needed for infill and exfil.