U.S. special operations forces who are believed to have killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi issued an airstrike on his compound to prevent the location from becoming a shrine, according to Newsweek.
Soldiers from the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment, or Delta Force, conducted a raid against what they believed to be al-Baghdadi at the northern province of Idlib, Syria, on Saturday, unnamed military officials said in numerousnewsreports.
Al-Baghdadi, who fetched a $25 million bounty in the United States, was killed in the raid.
U.S. troops faced incoming fire once they entered the site, a senior Defense Department official said to Newsweek, adding that the ISIS leader appeared to have killed himself by detonating a suicide vest. Two of al-Baghdadi's wives were reportedly killed by their own suicide vests.
Prior to the raid against al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in 2011, White House officials decided the U.S. would bury him at sea in the event he was killed. Officials reportedly reasoned that it would prevent bin Laden's gravesite from becoming a shrine.
Then-CIA director John Brennan said the administration consulted with Islamic experts and that bin Laden was buried “in accordance with the Islamic requirements,” according to The New York Times.
Baghdadi's last public sighting was from an April 29 propaganda video, the first visual sighting of him in five years.
In September, an audio recording purportedly of al-Baghdadi issuing orders was released by the terrorist organization. Both of Baghdadi's appearances followed ISIS's loosening grip in Syria and Iraq amid the U.S.-led coalition's campaign to rid the region of the group.
In 2018, ISIS militants and Iraqi intelligence indicated that al-Baghdadi's son, Hudhayfah al-Badri, was killed in Syria. ISIS's social media channels claimed Badri was conducting a suicide bombing operation against Russian forces, while Iraqi reports suggested he and 10 others were killed in a Russian missile attack, Voice of America reported.
Baghdadi was previously rumored to have been killed or wounded by airstrikes on numerous occasions in recent years. He became ISIS's leader in 2010 after two of his predecessors killed themselves before being captured by U.S. and Iraqi forces.
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