Trump: ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead
White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien said the US military operation that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was named after American Kayla Mueller who was held hostage by ISIS and killed in 2015.
Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press”, O’Brien said, “the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff named the operation that took down al-Baghdadi after Kayla Mueller, after what she had suffered,” adding “that was something that people should know.”
About the military operation: President Trump addressed the country this morning from the White House to declare the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The President said a US special operations forces mission went after the ISIS leader and there were no US deaths during the operation.
Several ISIS fighters and companions of Baghdadi were killed, including two women wearing suicide vests and three children. Trump would not provide a specific number of casualties, only describing those targeted on scene as "more dead than alive." Eleven children were moved out of the house and are uninjured, the President said.
President Trump admitted on Sunday the White House did not inform some key Democrats about the daring raid that resulted in the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The move to not make notable leaders aware goes against the usual traditional for such high-profile operations. The bipartisan praise for the US mission was undercut by criticism that the Trump administration did not inform congressional leaders about it ahead of time and came amid broader concerns about the strategy in the region after the US removed troops from Syria.
After saluting the "heroism, dedication and skill of our military and our intelligence professionals," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the "Russians but not top Congressional leaders were notified of the raid in advance."
"Our military and allies deserve strong, smart and strategic leadership from Washington," Pelosi said in a statement on Sunday.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said at an unrelated news conference Sunday in New York that he learned about the death of Baghdadi after seeing it on television.
"I didn't know. I saw it on TV," the New York Democrat said. When asked for his reaction to the news, Schumer added, "My reaction? Look, it's great that we've gotten al-Baghdadi and killed him. He's a dangerous man, an evil man. The fight against ISIS has to continue."
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff called the raid an "operational success," but also said he was not informed about the raid before it took place.
French President Emmanuel Macron reacted to the death of ISIS founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, saying it’s “a big blow” but “just one step” against ISIS.
“The fight continues with our international coalition partners in order to definitively defeat the terrorist organization,” he wrote on his official Twitter account.
Some of the US forces that carried out the operation targeting ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi originated from various locations inside Iraq and traveled to the NW Syrian compound via helicopters, according to a US official.
About the military operation: President Trump addressed the country this morning from the White House to declare the death of Baghdadi. The President said a US special operations forces mission went after the ISIS leader and there were no US deaths during the operation.
Several ISIS fighters and companions of Baghdadi were killed, including two women wearing suicide vests and three children.
Trump would not provide a specific number of casualties, only describing those targeted on scene as "more dead than alive." Eleven children were moved out of the house and are uninjured, the President said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey tweeted today saying the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi “marks a turning point in our joint fight against terrorism.”
“Turkey will continue to support anti-terror efforts—as it has done in the past,” Erdogan said. “I am confident that a decisive struggle against terrorism, in line with the spirit of alliance, will bring peace to all of humanity.”
Erdogan said Turkey has paid “the dearest price” in the fight against ISIS. He also mentioned the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Turkey considers to be an extension of the Turkish Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The PKK is a designated terrorist group in Turkey and the US.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said at an unrelated press conference in New York City today that he learned about the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by seeing it on television.
“I didn’t know. I saw it on TV,” Schumer said. When asked for his reaction to the news, Schumer added “My reaction? Look, it’s great that we’ve gotten al-Baghdadi and killed him. He’s a dangerous man, an evil man. The fight against ISIS has to continue.”
When pressed for more details, Schumer said he would be getting a briefing later today and would issue a more comprehensive statement afterwards.
Two senior law enforcement sources tell CNN that US law enforcement agencies are on guard for any potential attacks inside the country from ISIS sympathizers seeking to retaliate in response to the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.
Although the FBI has numerous investigations open on individuals believed to be associated with ISIS, both officials noted there is currently no known specific and credible threat to public safety.
An Iranian official said via Twitter today that the US announcement on ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s death is “not a big deal!”
Iranian Telecommunications Minister Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi said “not a big deal! you just killed your creature,” in response to an earlier tweet from President Trump where he said “something very big just happened.”
Trump confirmed Baghdadi was dead during a Sunday announcement from the White House, saying he “blew himself up” after a US special operations forces mission Saturday.
At lunch on Thursday with GOP senators, President Trump said he was convinced that good things were coming soon on Syria but didn’t go further than that, per GOP source familiar, who says it now seems to be a reference to the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
There were additional discussions on Friday and Saturday at the White House with Trump and some of his confidantes about Syria, including Hill confidants. There was an indication an announcement was coming, per another GOP source, but it’s unclear how much detail they got.