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WATCH: Military Releases Videos From Raid That Killed ISIS Leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi
MOSUL, IRAQ - JULY 5 : An image grab taken from a video released on July 5, 2014 by Al-Furqan Media shows alleged Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi preaching during Friday prayer at a mosque in Mosul.
Al-Furqan Media/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

U.S. Central Command released details, images, and videos on Wednesday of Saturday’s raid in northern Syria that resulted in the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie told reporters that Baghdadi was a priority target for U.S. Central Command and that the raid was the culmination of an intense effort to bring him to justice.

“As it became clear that we had gained clear and actionable intelligence on his hideout, we developed a plan designed to capture or kill him and started preparing a special operations team for the mission,” McKenzie said.

“We chose the time based on a variety of factors, weather, certainty, lunar data, a variety of things,” McKenzie continued. “And while [it] might have been convenient to use bases there, the United States military has the capability to go almost anywhere and support ourselves, even at great distances, so that was not a limiting factor. We struck because the time was about right to do it then, given the totality of the intelligence, and the other factors that would affect the raid force going in and coming out.”

The first clip released was titled: “Air Strike Clip: Close air aviation engages fighters who demonstrated hostile intent against U.S. forces during infiltration of the assault force.”


As the assault force surrounded the compound, they urged those who were hiding inside to immediately surrender.

“Those who came out of the building were checked for weapons and explosives and moved away,” McKenzie said. “U.S. forces detained and later released the noncombatants. The group was treated humanely at all times, and included 11 children.”

The second clip was titled: “Assault Force Moves In: The U.S. force moves toward the objective.”


“After Baghdadi’s murder/suicide, the assault force cleared debris from the tunnel and secured Baghdadi’s remains for DNA verification,” McKenzie said, adding that the remains were positively identified. The body was appropriately buried at sea, in accordance with the law of armed conflict, McKenzie said.

McKenzie told reporters that the compound was completely destroyed, saying: “It looks like a parking lot with big potholes.”

The next video clip released was titled: “Compound Strike: Upon exfiltration of the target compound, U.S. forces employ precision munitions from a U.S. Remotely Piloted Aircraft to destroy the compound and its contents.”

U.S. Central Command then released a second part to the strike on the compound, titled: “Compound Strike 2: U.S. forces employ precision munitions to destroy the compound and its contents.”

A final video clip showed the the compound on fire. It was titled: “Burning Compound: Remotely Piloted Aircraft footage of the effects of precision munitions destroying the compound.”

During a press conference on Sunday, President Donald Trump hammered al-Baghdadi, saying: “He was a sick and depraved man, and now he’s gone. Baghdadi was vicious and violent, and he died in a vicious and violent way, as a coward, running and crying. … He died like a dog. He died like a coward. … He died a coward — crying, whimpering, screaming, and bringing three kids with him to die a certain death.”

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