New Delhi: Debunking worldwide claims that IS Chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi gets ‘killed’ every year, the Pentagon has released videos and photos of the US special forces raid, which resulted in the death of Baghdadi.
The high-walled compound shown in the video is where Baghdadi was holed up in Syria’s Idlib province.
The Pentagon also released video of airstrikes on a group of unknown fighters on the ground who opened fire on the helicopters that ferried US forces in for the assault on Baghdadi’s compound in Syria’s Idlib province.
Before and after pictures of the isolated compound were also released.
As AFP reported, Marine Corps General Kenneth McKenzie, commander of US Central Command, said two children were killed when Baghdadi blew himself up with a suicide vest in a tunnel as he tried to escape the US troops.
“About Baghdadi’s last moments, I could tell you this,” he said. “He crawled into a hole with two small children and blew himself up while his people stayed on the ground.”
McKenzie said that in addition to Baghdadi and the two children, four women and one man were killed at the compound.
He said the women had acted in a “threatening manner” and were wearing suicide vests.
McKenzie said that the operation was “exquisitely planned and executed” and lauded agencies for their contribution in the raid.
“This operation was exquisitely planned and executed. It demonstrates the United States’ global reach and our unwavering commitment to destroy ISIS. This was a true inter-agency effort so I commend our partners across the US government,” he said.
“The individuals who planned and conducted this mission are quiet professionals, focused on their mission above glory or recognition. Committed people did hard, risky work, and they did it well,” McKenzie added.
Back in April, he had appeared in a propaganda video a week after a series of bombings rattled Sri Lanka, in which more than 250 people were killed. He had also periodically issued audio statements, with the last being in August 2018.
The US had earlier announced a reward of USD 25 million for information leading to al-Baghdadi’s death or arrest.
(With Agency Inputs)