ISIL Commander killed in US raid in Syria

World Today

ISIL Commander killed in U.S. raid in Syriathe chief of the Islamic State group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi purportedly appears for the first time in five years in a propaganda video in an undisclosed location. AL-FURQAN MEDIA / AFP

The elusive commander of ISIL, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed in a raid by U.S. Special Forces in Syria.

President Trump announced the successful operation early Sunday.

CGTN’s Jim Spellman reports.

President Trump is taking a victory lap after announcing Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi has died.

The ISIL leader exploded a suicide vest as U.S. commandos closed in during a nighttime raid at Baghdadi’s compound in Northwest Syria, according to President Trump.

Several children also died in the blast.

Trump described the operation in detail on Sunday, saying Baghdadi was “whimpering and crying and screaming” before his death. Pentagon officials won’t confirm that version of events.

Kurdish fighters in the area are credited with providing valuable intelligence that led to Baghdadi.

Several sources tell U.S. media, the mission wouldn’t have been possible without the Kurds.

This is raising serious questions about Trump’s strategy in the region.

Trump has cut off support for Kurdish fighters, who fought ISIL for years and has also withdrawn U.S. troops from the region.

Those decisions were made even as the raid on Baghdadi’s compound was being planned by U.S. Special Forces.

Some of the President’s critics say this operation against Baghdadi is a perfect example of why the U.S. should keep troops in the region.

Meanwhile, Trump is being criticized by Democrats for keeping them out of the loop ahead of the attack.

President Trump said he didn’t tell Democrats on Capitol Hill for fears it would leak ahead of the operations, singling out Adam Schiff, who is leading the fast-moving impeachment inquiry.

More Trump administration officials are slated to testify behind closed doors this week.