How the raid that killed ISIS leader Al Baghdadi went down
Take a look inside the special operations raid that killed ISIS leader Al-Baghdadi
BARISHA, SYRIA — U.S. President Donald Trump triumphantly announced the death of the Islamic State's elusive leader during a raid on his safehouse. Here's how the raid went down.
The Guardian reports that around 5 p.m. on Saturday, eight helicopters, mostly CH-47s, flew from an airbase in northern Iraq to ISIS leader Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi's compound in the Syrian village of Barisha.
The helicopters, which were carrying Delta Force commandos, were met with local gunfire while in transit, but returned fire and eliminated the threat.
At the compound, troops avoided the booby-trapped main door and breached a wall to gain entry into the building.
According to Trump, U.S. forces killed a 'large number' of militants during a gun battle. At least two ISIS fighters were captured, and 11 children rescued. Two of Baghdadi's wives were also killed, but their suicide vests were unexploded.
Baghdadi, who also wore a suicide vest, fled to an underground tunnel with three children while being chased by U.S. Delta Forces and K9 units. He detonated his vest after running into a dead-end, killing himself and the children.
The explosion caused the tunnel to collapse, and caused serious injury to one dog. No U.S. personnel were killed.
The BBC reports that while the blast mutilated Baghdadi's body, an on-site DNA test positively confirmed his identity.
Trump said U.S. forces searched the compound for about two hours and found a trove of intelligence. The New York Times reports that recovered electronic records and documents may contain information on the terror group's organization, finances and plans.
The U.S. then bombed the entire compound afterward to make sure it was destroyed.
Fox News reports that ISIS spokesman Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, a possible successor to al-Baghadi, was killed in Northern Syria one day after the raid.
According to the New York Times, Muhajir was being smuggled in the back of an oil tanker truck when a U.S. air raid destroyed the vehicle.
The Guardian reports that the Syrian Democratic Forces later claimed they played a key role in tracking Baghdadi to the Bashira compound, even taking a pair of underwear and a blood sample to confirm it was him.
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