IS leader al-Baghdadi killed by US forces in Syria
2019-10-27 at 19:45
The fugitive leader of the Islamic State (IS) group has been killed in a US military operation in northwest Syria, President Donald Trump has said.
Speaking from the White House, Mr Trump said Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi detonated his suicide vest after being caught at the end of a tunnel by special forces.
Baghdadi came to prominence in 2014, when he announced the creation of a “caliphate” in areas of Iraq and Syria.
IS carried out a number of atrocities that resulted in thousands of deaths.
The jihadist group imposed a brutal rule on almost eight million people in the areas under its control and was behind a number of attacks in cities around the world. The US declared the “caliphate” defeated earlier this year.
In an unusual Sunday morning statement, Mr Trump said Baghdadi died after running into a dead-end tunnel in Idlib province, “whimpering, crying and screaming all the way”, as he was chased by US dogs.
Baghdadi was accompanied by three of his young children, Mr Trump said, and detonated his suicide vest, killing them all. The blast mutilated Baghdadi’s body but DNA tests confirmed his identity, Mr Trump added.
“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,” Mr Trump said.