US President Donald Trump has confirmed the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a secret operation by US forces overnight in Barisha village in the northwestern province of Idlib.
In a speech on Sunday, Trump confirmed that Baghdadi was killed after he detonated an explosive vest he was wearing after being crammed into a tunnel beneath his apartment complex, noting that Baghdadi was killed along with three of his children.
He said the ISIS leader had been identified through test results after the operation, noting that US forces had been at the site for about two hours.
Trump said sensitive documents had been obtained after Baghdadi’s death, stressing that his country would continue to « hunt down other terrorists of ISIS. »
In the details of the operation, the US president said that Baghdadi’s whereabouts were determined two weeks ago after receiving « very positive information about his whereabouts a month ago. »
He explained that eight helicopters participated in the operation, and that the main entrance to the compound was booby-trapped, and said that he saw the operation with his deputy Mike Pence and others.
Trump thanked Turkey, Russia and Kurdish fighters.
« We coordinated with Turkey and Russia the operation that killed Baghdadi, » he said, adding that « the Kurds provided us with some information that was useful. »