U.S. President Donald Trump confirmed the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Sunday, saying he had “died like a dog.”
During a nationally televised address from the White House, Trump noted that U.S. forces had contacted Moscow for approval to fly over Russian-controlled areas to execute the raid in northwest Syria. Trump thanked Turkey, Syria, Russia, Iraq and the Syrian Kurds for assistance with intelligence that led to the raid.
According to the president, as eight American helicopters arrived at al-Baghdadi’s compound, he fled like “a coward,” running into a tunnel where he detonated a suicide vest, killing himself and three of his children.
According to a report in The New York Times, informed by Syrian Kurdish forces and confirmed by the head of a Kurdish-led militia, al-Baghdadi’s likely successor as ISIS leader, known as “Abu Hassan al-Muhajir,” was also killed in a U.S.-led airstrike with Kurdish forces near the Syrian border overnight on Monday. JN