Will the United States release the footage of the raid in which ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed? With remarks suggesting the possibility of the video being released, much attention is being paid to how much of it will be shared.
In a joint press conference with U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper on Monday, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark A. Milley said that the footage is going through a declassification process and will be provided, though he was “not prepared at this time to release those.” He did not provide details regarding how much of it will be publicized.
U.S. President Donald Trump said in his “major statement” on Sunday that Baghdadi died “whimpering, crying and screaming all the way.” Asked about Trump’s account of the death, the chairman told the reporters, “I know the president had planned to talk down to the unit and unit members, but I don't know what the source of that was,” adding that he does not have similar information. The New York Times have raised doubts over Trump’s account saying that the satellite video neither shows what was happening in an underground tunnel nor detects whimpering or crying.
An official from the Department of Defense said the description, even if not true, can be a strategic message that disrupts ISIS and undermines the morale of its soldiers. He added that it is uncommon to have dogs as pets in the Middle East and dogs have a negative image often associated with wild dogs or wolves.
President Trump criticized the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry on his Twitter account on Monday. He singled out House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff saying that “can you believe that Shifty Adam Schiff, the biggest leaker in D.C., and a corrupt politician, is upset that we didn’t inform him before we raided and killed the #1 terrorist in the WORLD!?” He also tweeted, “This is a big win for America, and also for President Trump,” highlighting that the raid was his diplomatic achievement.