ISIS (Islamic State) leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi was killed during an attack by the United States in the Syrian region of Idlib, US President Donald Trump confirmed.
The Syrian Human Rights Observatory reported that the attack was large-scale, with eight helicopters involved, and with a balance of nine dead and several seriously injured. He did not pronounce on the identity of the deaths.
Biography of the head of the Islamic State group Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi – AFP / AFPRELATED
According to Newsweek, the first media to confirm the attack, Donald Trump gave his approval a week ago to the operation, carried out by special forces.
He had speculated that he was hiding in the border zone in eastern Syria, in the border area with Iraq. However, Baghdadi was surprised in Idlib, a province located less than 30 kilometers from Turkey and dominated by rebel groups that would be hostile to him.
CIA agents facilitated its location.
According to the experienced Pentagon officer cited by Newsweek, there was a brief shooting in the room. Baghdadi immediately committed suicide by activating the explosive vest he wore. Two women died in the operation.
Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, for whom the United States offered a reward of $ 25 million, had been hidden for five years. Only last April it could be seen in a video broadcast by ISIS-related media. He had not made a public or media appearance since July 2014, when he performed at the Mosque Grand Mosque.
In February 2018, US forces assured that the ISIS leader had been injured in an attack, so he would have delegated the handling of Islamic State for a period of time.
Baghdadi was already presumed dead at least a couple of times.
In June 2017, Russia announced that the ISIS leader would have died in an attack on Raqa, although no other power or entity ratified the information.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the great mosque of Mosul, the second Iraqi city, in July 2014. (AP / archive)
And a month later, the Syrian Human Rights Observatory, based in London, left Baghdadi for dead. On that occasion there was also no support from other organizations.
On Saturday night, Trump had posted a suggestive message on his Twitter account: "Something great has just happened!"
Something very big has just happened!
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 27, 2019
Hours later, a White House spokesman announced that the president of the United States will give a press conference this Sunday at 9 (11 in Argentina), although he did not advance the subject of his speech.
Baghdadi, whose real name is Ibrahim Awad al Badri, was supposedly born in 1971 in a poor family in the Baghdad region. Passionate about football, he failed in his attempt to be a lawyer and then military, and began studying theology.
During the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, he created a small jihadist group without much impact, before being arrested and imprisoned in Bucca jail.
Released for lack of evidence against him, he joined a group of Sunni guerrillas linked to al Qaeda and led him years later. Taking advantage of the chaos of the civil war, their fighters settled in Syria in 2013 and from there launched an offensive in Iraq.
The group, which changed its name to Islamic State, took the place of Al Qaeda. His initial military successes and effective propaganda led thousands of people to join their ranks.
With information from AFP and New York Times