Last night on, October 26, 2019, at 9:23 PM President Donald Trump once again took to Twitter. However, rather than an angry tirade, spreading misinformation, or gas-lighting the American people, he instead left a very cryptic message. “Something very big has just happened!”
In a press conference the following morning, October 27, 2019, President Trump informed the American people and the world that the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is dead.
Trump said that last night a U.S. special forces team conducted a coordinated two-hour operation on the safe-house in North-Western Syria that Baghdadi was hiding in. The compound is located outside the village Barisha in the province of Idlib, about 3 miles south of the Turkish border, one of the few areas of the country that is still outside of the control of the Syrian regime. During his remarks he revealed that Baghdadi had been under surveillance for the past several weeks, while the U.S. gathered intelligence and planned their strike.
Trump further declared that no American lives were lost in the operation, but many of Baghdadi’s fighters were killed in the fighting.
Trump declared that Baghdadi was a vicious and violent person that died “like a dog,” as a coward. In recounting the daring operation, Trump said that Baghdadi was chased by U.S. forces into a dead-end tunnel within the compound, “whimpering and crying and screaming all the way.” Trump said that Baghdadi had dragged three (3) of his own young children into the tunnel with him. After Baghdadi reached the end of the tunnel, realizing there was no way out, he ignited his suicide vest, collapsing the tunnel, killing himself and his three young children.
The president said that despite his mangled body, an on-site DNA test gave certain, immediate, and positive identification. “It was him.” Trump declared.
Trump revealed that a small group of Baghdadi’s fighters had been captured, though he admitted that there were, “more dead than alive.” The U.S. forces also moved eleven (11) children out of the house, who are uninjured, while the compound was being cleared. Along the way Baghdadi’s fighters either surrendered or were killed in combat. The eleven children were left in the region under allied supervision.
President Trump also announced that during the raid U.S. special forces were able to obtain numerous sensitive intelligence documents that outline many operational details of ISIS. Hopefully, that information can be used in order to further curb global terrorism.
Although President Trump did not want to disclose the exact numbers, he noted that “a large group” of special forces personnel, eight helicopters, and many other ships and planes were involved in the operation. He revealed to the press that he was able to watch the events unfold in real time and that it was truly a pleasure to watch the professionalism and efficiency of the special forces involved.
After the metadata of the above photograph was analyzed and compared to reports from U.S. officials, some people began to speculate that the caption is inherently false. However, during the press conference Trump said that special forces troops were on the ground for about two hours, so the photo could certainly have been taken in real-time as Trump watched the operation. Or, it could have been a photo-op in an effort to win a news cycle. Either way, clearly Trump wanted to invoke a similar feeling as the famous photo of President Obama watching the Seal Team 6 operation against Osama Bin Laden. This seems to explain why he went off on a tangent attempting to compare Baghdadi and Bin Laden. He remarked that his operation should be considered more impressive than Bin Laden since he was only a name of notoriety after the 9/11 attacks.
In the press conference Trump mentioned that Russia, Turkey, and Iraq were extremely cooperative during last night’s operation. He noted that none of these countries knew what we were doing exactly, but that we needed to urgently fly through their airspace in order to conduct a highly classified and time-sensitive mission.
The president also extended his thanks to the Syrian Kurdish forces, despite the fact that Trump has been facing bipartisan backlash and disapproval for his facilitation of Turkey’s recent strikes against our Kurdish allies.
And of course, he thanked the soldiers, sailors, and airmen involved in last night’s operation, as well as other U.S. officials.
President Trump has long since promised that he would defeat ISIS, even claiming that he had already done so earlier on in his administration. In his opening remarks, he noted that, “Capturing or killing Baghdadi has been the top national security priority of my administration.” Today’s press conference provided his administration with a little bit of closure on the global terrorism front by announcing the news that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed.