By Venice Hancock.
The leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Abou Bakr Al-Baghdadi, has been killed in a raid led by U.S. Special Forces in the north-western region of Idlib in Syria during the night of Saturday October 26.
The United States President Donald Trump announced the success of the raid through a televised press conference, in which he stated:
“The United States brought the world’s number one terrorist leader to justice”.
President Trump affirmed that capturing Baghdadi was an absolute priority of his administration – this announcement was made after DNA verification confirmed that the body did indeed belong to the ISIS leader.
Baghdadi, who was born in Iraq in 1971, was considered to be the mastermind behind many of the terrorist attacks perpetrated by the Islamic State globally.
On top of the many terror attacks, the organisation has also been accused of multiple beheadings, rapes and perpetrating slavery – as well as many other human rights violations and atrocities.
The leader made his only public appearance in 2014, where he appeared at the Al-Nouri mosque in Mosul. He called on Muslims to join him in pursuing and establishing what the organisation proclaimed to be “the caliphate” – referring to their accumulated territory in Syria and Iraq and claiming military, political and religious authority over muslims worldwide.
The U.S. President has thanked Russia, Turkey, Iraq and the Kurds for their support during this operation. Washington has praised the coordination of information and intelligence between the countries as an essential factor in the success of the offensive.
The raid took place amidst the highly contested retreat of U.S. troops from Syria, leaving the Kurds abandoned by their most powerful ally.