On October 30th, Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie briefed reporters on the raid that killed ISIS leader Abu Bark al-Baghdadi and provided videos showing how it went on.
“As it became clear that we had gained clear and actionable intelligence on his hideout, we developed a plan designed to capture or kill him and started preparing a special operations team for the mission,” he said.
The special operations team was staged in Syria and launched against an isolated compound in Idlib province about 4 miles from the Turkish border.
“We assess that he was hiding in Idlib province to avoid the intense pressure that had been put on ISIS in other areas of Syria,” the general said.
“After Baghdadi’s murder/suicide, the assault force cleared debris from the tunnel and secured Baghdadi’s remains for DNA verification,” McKenzie said, adding that the remains were positively identified. The body was appropriately buried at sea, in accordance with the law of armed conflict, he said.
Aircraft destroyed the compound so it can’t be used as a shrine to the murderer, the general told reporters.
“It looks like a parking lot with big potholes,” McKenzie said.
The military briefing and the video released were apparently intended to dispel multiple doubts that the Pentagon’s version of the supposed death of Baghdadi. However, the video provided cannot confirm that Baghdadi was at least present on the site. Therefore, the US will have to do something more to prove its version of events.
Meanwhile, more and more wild rumors are appearing over the Baghdadi case. Various parties and supposed US allies rush to claim a bit of PR success from the supposed elimitation of the top terrorist.
An ISIS defector, who provided information to the US was instrumental to the raid that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Washington Post reported.
The man was allegedly a logistics aide and trusted official of al-Baghdadi and provided information including that the ISIS leader was always armed with a suicide belt so he could kill himself if anyone attempted to capture him.
The ISIS informant would also receive most, if not all, of the $25 million bounty that al-Baghdadi had on his head. The ISIS turncoat was so close to al-Baghdadi, in fact, that he was present during the raid that resulted in al-Baghdadi’s death.
According to the Washington Post, the US then extracted the informant and his family from the region two days later.
One official said the mole was a Sunni Arab who turned against ISIS after the group killed a relative, the outlet reported.
The Syrian Democratic Forces leader, Gen. Mazloum Abdi, said Monday to NBC News that his organization had an informant that helped the raid happen. Allegedly, the informant stole al-Baghdadi’s underwear and gave specific information about finding him.
But the US Department of Defense and the White House refuse to acknowledge that anything of the sort happened.
“I’m not going to comment on what may or may not have happened with the SDF on the objective,” Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on October 28th. “The actions on the objective, the aircraft coming in, the aircraft overhead and the soldiers conducting the assault, was a U.S.-only operation.”
Even Marine Corps Gen. McKenzie’s briefing did not mention of an ISIS turncoat or a Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) operative.
MORE ON THE TOPIC: