CNN reports ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is believed to have been killed in a raid conducted by the US military in northwest Syria on Saturday.
According to a senior US defense official and a source with knowledge, the report said: “The final confirmation is pending while DNA and biometric testing is conducted.”
Sources say Baghdadi detonated an explosive suicide vest, which will prolong the identification process.
“The defense official said it appears that Baghdadi detonated a suicide vest during the raid,” the report said.
A spokesperson for the Iraqi Joint Operations told CNN: “The raid was carried out by special operations commandos.
“The CIA assisted in locating the ISIS leader, the defense official said. Iraqi forces also gave ‘important information’ in the operation.
“The Kurdish-lead Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) tweeted that there was a ‘successful’ joint operation with the US — but did not specifically name what that operation was or give any further details.”
A SDF General Commander tweeted Sunday: “Successful & historical operation due to joint intelligence work with the United States of America.
Rarely seen on camera, the ISIS leader appeared in a video posted on the Internet on July 5, 2014, with limited people in the room.
“Newsweek first reported that Baghdadi was believed to have been killed.
“President Donald Trump is scheduled to make a major announcement Sunday at 9am.
“White House officials were at the White House late Saturday evening in preparation for an announcement.
“Trump stoked speculation when he tweeted Sunday evening “something very big has just happened!
“Baghdadi, the leader of the terror group, is believed to have been in hiding for the last five years,” the report said.
“In April, a video was published by the ISIS media wing al-Furqan that showed a man purporting to be Baghdadi. It was the first time Baghdadi had been seen since July 2014, when he spoke at the Great Mosque in Mosul.
- ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appears in this video recording posted on the Internet on July 5, 2014