National Security

‘High-Value ISIS Target’ Said to Be Killed by U.S.-Led Forces, Trump to Make Major Statement

Leader of Islamic State is believed to be deceased now in Syria after a special operations raid, according to sources

The leader of the Islamic State — a man who apparently had a $25 million bounty on his head — is thought now to have been killed in Syria.

That’s the result of a special operations raid approved by President Donald Trump approximately a week ago.

A person considered a “high-value ISIS target” — believed to be Islamic State mastermind Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi — was killed by U.S.-led forces in Idlib, a well-placed military source told Fox News on Saturday night, the outlet reported.

A senior Trump administration official then confirmed the source’s account.

Late on Saturday night, President Donald Trump himself shared a note on Twitter that suggested “very big” news had just occurred.

Here’s his tweet:

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Soon after the reports began emerging, the White House released a statement noting there would an announcement on Sunday morning about “major news,” as Fox News reported.

Newsweek said late on Saturday that Baghdadi was killed during a special operations mission approved by Trump.

“Further verification [of the identity] is pending DNA and biometric testing,” noted the Newsweek piece.

A “senior Pentagon official said there was a brief firefight when U.S. forces entered the compound in Idlib’s Barisha village and that Baghdadi then killed himself by detonating a suicide vest,” the article also noted.

An audio recording in September purportedly made by Baghdadi had a call for extremist group members to use any means necessary to free Muslims who were being detained “by crusaders and their Shiite followers.”

Earlier this year, Iraqi intelligence officials told Fox News the leader was in the area of Syrian border towns, “often donning non-traditional or ‘regular’ clothes, using a civilian car and making sure all those around him had no mobile phones or electronic devices in order to bypass detection,” as Fox News noted.

Some experts believed it was simply a matter of time before Baghdadi would be captured or killed, given the mounting ISIS losses, the outlet also said.

ISIS, however, also had been rebuilding in Syria, according to a report written by a Department of Defense (DOD) counsel not long ago.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford told reporters in July, “We can all certainly be proud of the progress that has taken place since 2015 … in terms of clearing ISIS from Mosul, from Raqqa, from Fallujah and so forth … But we also know there is still a fairly vibrant insurgency that has reverted to guerrilla tactics, and so there is still a threat.”

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