“Got him, 100% confidence, jackpot, over,” U.S. Special Operations forces commander sent a radio message to the White House at 7:15 p.m. Saturday during a U.S. special military operation called Kayla Mueller aimed at capturing Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Barisha, Syria. The ISIS leader was confirmed dead two hours after the start of the operation.
About 9,700 kilometers away from the site, U.S. President Donald Trump watched the operation in the White House situation room joined by Vice President Mike Pence, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley, and others. President Trump praised the operation, saying it was perfect “as though you were watching a movie.” The operation ended quickly in part thanks to an onsite-DNA test that confirmed the identity of the ISIS leader.
The military operation led by the most elite U.S. troops, such as Delta Force was named after American human rights activist Kayla Mueller (1988~2015), who was kidnapped and killed by the ISIS. The 75th Ranger Regiment and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) conducted the raid along with Delta Force, using eight CH-47 Chinook helicopter, which can carry about 20 soldiers each, according to the far-right American website Breitbart News Network. An elite team of U.S. Navy SEALs used stealth Black Hawk helicopters to kill Osaba Bin Laden, the mastermind behind the 9.11 terrorist attack, back in May 2011.
Even before landing, U.S. helicopters fired missiles at the buildings, where al-Baghdadi was believed to be hiding. The US force blew holes in the walls to get inside instead of entering the building through the main doors. “The raid was impeccable,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper told ABC on Sunday, adding that fewer than 100 forces were on the ground during the raid.
As U.S. military dogs pursued Baghdadi, the ISIS leader detonated a suicide vest in a tunnel, killing himself and his three children. President Trump said the identification of Baghdadi was confirmed on-site just 15 minutes after he was killed.
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