US targeted ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: US officials | World | Ammon News



US targeted ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: US officials


[10/27/2019 4:44:37 AM]

AMMONNEWS - The United States has carried out an operation targeting Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL or ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, have told news agencies.

A US official told The Associated Press that the ISIL leader was targeted in Syria's Idlib province. Another US official confirmed to Reuters news agency that the operation took place but did not disclose details and did not say whether it was successful.

Newsweek, citing a US Army official briefed on the result of the operation, said al-Baghdadi was killed in the raid.

US President Donald Trump plans to make a "major statement" at the White House at 9 am EST (1300 GMT) on Sunday, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said on Saturday.

Earlier, Trump tweeted: "Something very big has just happened!"

The US raid was carried out in Barisha, a small village in northwestern Syria near the border with Turkey, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a war monitor.

Al Jazeera correspondent Alaa Eddine Youssef, one of the first journalists to reach the scene, said eight US helicopters took part in the operation which lasted for about 90 minutes.

"Search and rescue teams are still inside this perimeter in an attempt to find out what had happened," he said, reporting from Barisha.

"Many were killed, others injured, many vehicles were also destroyed. No cameras are allowed in until all the search and investigation efforts are completed."

Al Jazeera's Natasha Ghoneim, reporting from Baghdad, said a lot of people would be relieved to hear of al-Baghdadi's death, if true.

"Analysts say the death will have a significant impact on the group. It will possibly weaken the group and, at least for a short period of time, until another leader is announced, they might be disorientated," she said.

On Sunday, the commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Sunday a "successful operation" resulted from joint intelligence work with the US, in an apparent reference to the reports surrounding al-Baghdadi.

"An historic, successful operation as a result of joint intelligence work with the United States of America," Mazloum Abdi said on Twitter.

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