- The US military released video of the Special Forces raid against ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Saturday in northwestern Syria.
- No US soldiers were killed, but a military working dog was injured by live electrical cables after al-Baghdadi detonated a suicide vest in a tunnel.
- A military official shared before and after photographs of the building and described it as a “parking lot with large potholes” and “not memorable.”
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The US military released video clips of the special-operations forces raid on ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Saturday in northwestern Syria.
US Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr., the head of US Central Command, released the photos and video on Wednesday afternoon, showing US forces entering the compound in search of the ISIS leader.
—U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) October 30, 2019
The mission started at 9:00 a.m. ET on Saturday in Syria, though US troops did not arrive at the compound until after dark.
No US soldiers were killed during the operation, but a military working dog was injured by live electrical cables after al-Baghdadi detonated a suicide vest in a tunnel. The dog has recovered from its injuries and returned to duty, according to McKenzie.
Fighters not associated with al-Baghdadi began attacking US troops from two locations, McKenzie said. US aircraft responded by attacking the militants.
Following the assault, the compound was hit by more munitions to prevent the location from becoming a shrine. Multiple armed helicopters, unmanned aircraft, and fighter jets were used to provide cover for the raid.
McKenzie shared before and after photographs of the building, describing it as a “parking lot with large potholes” and “not memorable.”
The US troops detained several noncombatants, including 11 children, who were later released.
“Despite the violent nature of the raid, and the high profile nature of this assault, every effort was made to avoid civilian casualties and to protect the children that we suspected would be at the compound,” McKenzie said.
Four women and one man inside the compound were considered threats and killed after they “did not respond to commands in Arabic,” McKenzie added.
On Monday, Trump praised the US forces who participated in the raid and hailed the moment as a victory.
Al-Baghdadi, who is believed to have been 48 years old, took over the terrorist organization in 2010 after two of his predecessors were killed. He was considered to be one of the US’s most-wanted terrorists and fetched a $25 million bounty.
“Last night was a great night for the United States and for the world,” Trump said in a press conference. “A brutal killer, one who has caused so much hardship and death, has violently been eliminated. He will never again harm another innocent man, woman, or child. He died like a dog. He died like a coward. The world is now a much safer place.”