U.S. Defense Dept. Makes Declassified Footage of Al-Baghdadi Raid Public

Photo credits: mashleymorgan/Creative Commons

A member of the Pentagon’s top brass held a press conference on Wednesday (October 30) and publicized visual and video images of the U.S. bombardment that took down ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.

Under the cover of nighttime darkness, around eight military helicopters carrying approximately 100 members of a U.S. Special Forces unit approached Al-Baghdadi’s ISIS compound in Idlib, Syria on October 26. Prior to arriving at the fortified ISIS compound, the helicopters were met with small arms fire, which the Pentagon believes came from armed local groups with no ISIS affiliation.

The helicopters responded rapidly with firepower of their own and quickly flattened the resistance that came before the pending Al-Baghdadi raid. As soon as the low-hovering Special Forces unit approached the ISIS leader’s compound, it was greeted with frantic gunfire from fighters who were protecting the compound. The U.S. fired an aerial warhead in retaliation and cleared the way for ground troops to storm the compound.

Explosives were used by the ground troops on each side of the compound to avoid going through the front entrance, which the U.S. believed was booby-trapped. Survivors were rounded up (including 11 children) and taken out of harm’s way. The compound had several tunnels that led to subterranean locations. Donning a suicide vest, Al-Baghdadi led two of his children (under age 12) to a dead-end tunnel.

To avoid the fear of attack dogs and ground troops who were closing in on him, Al-Baghdadi detonated his suicide vest killing himself and his two children. When the U.S. forces cleared the site and completed their hunt for evidence and clues about any future ISIS future plans, fighter jets and drones were called in. The combined devastation of heavy bombing and drone strikes reduced the entire site to mangled rubble.

The two-hour operation was lauded as a massive success by numerous leadership figures in the U.S. government.

“This is a devastating blow. This is not just their leader, it’s their founder. He was an inspirational leader in many ways. He formed ISIS in 2014, he led to establishing the physical caliphate throughout the region, so this is a major blow to them,” said U.S. Defense Secretary Mike Esper in an October 27 interview with CNN’s Jack Tapper on “Face the Nation.”

You can watch a clip of the Pentagon’s newly released video footage of the Al-Baghdadi kill operation below.

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 Source: The Guardian Newspaper (UK)/YouTube