UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — A US-led airstrike that targeted the hideout of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State (IS) militant group, in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib was intended to capture him alive before the IS leader detonated his explosive vest, a war monitor reported Sunday.
The operation, carried out by eight helicopters and warplanes, led to the killing of nine people, including al-Baghdadi himself, his wife and a number of children, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Al-Baghdadi was hiding in the house in the west of the village of Barisha in Idlib, the London-based watchdog added.
Citing eyewitnesses, the Observatory said the US troops pulled out a body after the operation, which is likely to be al-Baghdadi’s.
US media also said al-Baghdadi was killed in the operation in Syria as President Donald Trump is expected to make a statement later in the day.
Meanwhile, the pan-Arab al-Mayadeen TV cited Iraqi sources as saying the Iraqi intelligence provided vital information that helped pinpoint the location of al-Baghdadi.
The Iraqi official TV aired video footage showing a big hole in the ground and a levelled house purporting to be the aftermath of the airstrike.
Al-Baghdadi was said to have been wounded on March 18 2015 during a US-led coalition airstrike on the al-Baaj District in the northern province of Nineveh near the Syrian border.
His wounds were apparently so serious that the top IS leaders had a meeting to discuss who would replace al-Baghdadi if he died.
His latest appearance was in an 18-minute video posted online in April by IS media, in which al-Baghdadi vowed to continue fighting despite the loss of his group’s self-proclaimed caliphate in Iraq and Syria.
Al-Baghdadi, 48, whose real name is Ibrahim Awad al-Badri announced the establishment of a caliphate, or the so-called Islamic State, in June 2014.
In 2016, the US State of Department offered a reward of up to 25 million US dollars for information leading to his capture or death.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
Contact us: [email protected]
Support The OBSERVATORY from as little as $1 – it only takes a minute. Thank you.
We are OBSERVATORY — the only funding and support we get from people – we are categorically not funded by any political party, any government somewhere or from any grouping that supports certain interests – the only support that makes OBSERVATORY possible came from you.