Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died during an American raid in northwestern Syria, President Donald Trump announced. | Militant video via AP, File
U.S. special operations forces killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a raid in Syria, President Donald Trump announced Sunday from the White House.
The head of the terrorist group ignited a suicide vest, killing himself and three children after he was cornered in a tunnel, Trump said. “The thug who tried so hard to intimidate others spent his last moments in utter fear, in total panic and dread, terrified of the American forces bearing down on him.” No U.S. personnel were lost in the raid, Trump said.
“Baghdadi’s demise demonstrates America’s relentless pursuit of terrorist leaders and our commitment to the enduring and total defeat of ISIS and other terrorist organizations,” he said.
The death of Baghdadi, long considered the most wanted man in the world, came amid weeks of acrimonious debate in Washington about the U.S. role in Syria after Trump’s efforts to remove troops from the region.
“He died as a coward, running and crying,“ Trump said.