The U.S. Department of Defense released part of the video filmed during its operation to remove Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the now-deceased leader of the Islamic State (IS), an armed Sunni extremist group.
According to the U.S. media, including CNN, Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., the commander of U.S. Central Command, gave a play-by-play of the special operations forces raid sharing the video and images taken with a drone at a briefing session held at Pentagon on Wednesday. Three-part videos of the raid were also posted on the Defense Department’s website.
In the first 13-second video, seven U.S. soldiers closed in on the hiding place of al-Baghdadi. The second 10-second video shows a low-flying fighter striking eight IS insurgents and the last 13-second footage features an aircraft launching a precision strike on the hiding place of the former IS leader. However, the image of the last few seconds before al-Baghdadi’s death, about which U.S. President Donald Trump said “He died like a dog” in his “major statement,” was not included.
Gen. McKenzie said that an airstrike was issued on al-Baghdadi’s compound to prevent the location from becoming a shrine and that the assault force managed to gather substantial quantities of documentation and electronics before the airstrike.
The general also said the army canine, which contributed to the raid, was injured from the suicide bombing of the IS leader but has returned to obligation after treatment. The male canine is a four-year veteran and had been on roughly 50 fight missions. The U.S. government did not reveal his name mentioning that it is related to a confidential military unit, however, Weekly news magazine Newsweek reported on Wednesday that the name of the Belgian Malinois is Conan.