On October 28th, the UN couldn’t verify whether ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was dead and expected confirmation from authorities on the ground, Deputy Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General Farhan Haq said.
“We have taken note of the announcement by the president of the United States on the death of Abu Bark al-Baghdadi, the leader of the UN-designated terrorist group Daesh,” he stated, adding that the United Nations “cannot personally verify” this information.
“We trust the reliability of various sources of information that are speaking up but obviously any sort of information would need to be verified by the various authorities on the ground,” he stressed.
“Daesh has committed heinous crimes and brought tragedies and deaths to thousands of men, women and children. And we should take this moment to remember the victims and families of victims of terrorism everywhere in the world,” he added.
US President Donald Trump on October 27th confirmed al-Baghdadi’s death, saying that it happened in a US forces raid in Syria’s Idlib and that many of the ISIS leader’s allies had also been killed.
He thanked Russia, Iraq, Syria and Turkey for the assistance in dispatching al-Baghdadi.
Russia’s Defense Ministry claimed on the same day that it had no reliable proof that al-Baghdadi was dead and it denied opening airspace over Syria for US forces.
On the next day, Trump said that one of the main “operatives” that took part in the operation to neutralize al-Baghdadi was a Belgian Malinois, a dog, and it was injured in the operation, not severely and it would recover.
We have declassified a picture of the wonderful dog (name not declassified) that did such a GREAT JOB in capturing and killing the Leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi! pic.twitter.com/PDMx9nZWvw
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 28, 2019
The “beautiful, talented good boy” had chased down al-Baghdadi moments before he ran down the tunnel and detonated his explosive vest.
Only the image of the dog had been declassified, without its name. But Newsweek cited several unnamed sources that the dog was named “Conan” and was female.
Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, told reporters: “We’re not releasing the name of the dog right now … the dog is still in theatre.”
US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, said the dog “performed a tremendous service, as they all do”.
Finally, anonymous officials told Reuters that al-Baghdadi had been given a burial at sea and given all relevant religious rites.
General Mark Milley said that the U.S. military disposed of Baghdadi’s remains “appropriately, in accordance with our (standard operating procedures) and in accordance with the law of armed conflict.”
Baghdadi’s remains were transported to a secure facility to confirm his identity with forensic DNA testing, Milley said.
According to the unnamed US officials, Baghdadi’s remains were delivered to an undisclosed location at sea by an aircraft.
Back in 2011, Osama bin Laden received a similar burial, he was covered in a white sheet, and religious remarks translated into Arabic were read over his corpse.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- SDF Claims It Provided United States With Intelligence On Baghdadi’s Location Ahead Of Raid
- US Defense Secretary Provides More Details On Abu Bark al-Baghdadi Killing In Idlib