The Pentagon released newly declassified video and images Wednesday of two hour raid targeting ISIS leader Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi, that shows that shows US forces taking small arms fire from multiple locations as their helicopters approached the compound. Video from an overhead drone also shows the commandos approaching Baghdadi’s compound and aerial strikes carried out by US F-15 fighter jets and MQ-9 Reaper Drones to blow up the site once it was cleared. The commander of US Central Command, Gen. Frank McKenzie, said the DNA used to confirm Baghdadi’s identity was from samples collected during his previous detention at Camp Bucca in Iraq.
McKenzie told reporters that the terror leader “crawled into a hole with two small children and blew himself up while his people stayed on the ground. So you can deduce what type of person that is based on that activity.” McKenzie also said that he could not confirm that Baghdadi was “whimpering and crying” in his final moments as President Donald Trump claimed in his televised address on Sunday.
Video was also provided showing US helicopters conducting strikes against enemy fighters that had fired on the US aircraft as they approached the target. McKenzie said that those airstrikes killed some 10 to 15 enemy fighters but those forces are not necessarily believed to have been affiliated with Baghdadi and were possibly members of one of the many armed militant groups that occupy the area around the compound and would be hostile to the presence of US or other international forces, underscoring the risks involved in conducting a raid in that part of Syria.
McKenzie said updated information had revealed that two children had been with Baghdadi, with both of them being assessed to be under 12 years old. CNN/Daily Mail/Tiranapost.al