Currents News Staff
President Trump announced the most significant death of a terror group leader since Osama Bin Laden in 2011.
ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died over the weekend after a U.S.-led nighttime raid.
Baghdadi detonated his suicide vest in a dead end tunnel on Oct. 26, after being cornered by U.S. forces in a Syrian compound, according to Trump.
Baghdadi was under surveillance for a few weeks prior to mission, Trump told reporters on the morning of Oct. 27 following his death.
Last week the president was given plans of attack.
“He reviewed them, asked some great questions, choose the options that we thought gave us the highest probability of success,” said Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.
The covert raid involved sending eight helicopters of elite U.S. troops toward Baghdadi’s compound.
Footage — reportedly of the mission — was taken by a Syrian activist.
Members of the Trump administration who watched the raid unfold as it happened from the Situation Room were tight-lipped about the mission, not even telling key congressional Democratic leaders about it.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement, calling the death of Baghdadi “significant,” but added that “the House must be briefed…on the administrations overall strategy in the region.”
According to reports, Abdullah Qardash — a former officer for Saddam Hussein — had been running operations and kill campaigns for the terror group since August and formally assumed leadership following Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s death on Saturday.
Regardless, Democrats agree with the president: the death of Baghdadi is a major moment in the war on terror.
“This is progress. I’s good news in the ongoing fight against the terrorist threat posed by jihadist groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda,” said Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii.
“This is a real blow against ISIS and positive step in the fight against stateless terrorism,” said Democratic Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana.