- Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed in a US military raid in Syria, President Donald Trump confirmed yesterday.
Al-Baghdadi was killed in a targeted raid in north-west Syria, Trump told a press conference. Al-Baghdadi had been chased into a tunnel in his compound, where he triggered a suicide vest, Trump said.
His body was mutilated, but tests confirmed al-Baghdadi’s identity, Trump said. “It was him”, he said. The Turkish Defence ministry said in a statement that Turkey and the US had exchanged information on a US-led raid in Syria’s Idlib.
Al-Baghdadi has been in hiding for five years. The US has for some time been offering a reward of 25 million dollars for information that could lead to locating him.
In April, al-Baghdadi appeared in a video, the first since footage was released in 2014, a few days after the group’s self-styled “caliphate” was declared in Iraq and Syria.
Over the years, there have been multiple claims of al-Baghdadi’s death that were later proven false.