Islamic State leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi allegedly dead after US raid in Syria

Several media reported an operation targeting him in the Idlib region. Donald Trump has promised a "very important" announcement, expected early this afternoon.

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"Something very important has just happened! ". It's through these few words published on Twitter, Saturday, October 26, that the President of the United States, Donald Trump, has stoked the curiosity of all US media, speculating on the announcement promised by the White House for Sunday, 2 pm (Paris time).

According to CNN and the New York Times (NYT), the billionaire president is preparing to announce the death of the head of the Islamic State (IS) organization, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, killed in an American operation in northwestern Syria. On the night of Saturday to Sunday, the US television channels CNN and ABC and the Reuters news agency reported a military operation targeting the Iraqi, considered responsible for multiple bloody attacks around the world.

According to CNN, tests are underway to formally confirm the death of the leader of the jihadist group, who allegedly blew his explosive-charged jacket to commit suicide at the time of the raid. The NYT, which quotes two official sources who wanted to remain anonymous, also writes the US military is working to "Confirm the identity of the terrorist ". The Associated Press reports the same facts, relying on the comments of a US official.

Kurds hail "historic" operation

Without confirming by name the death of Baghdadi, the Kurdish forces reported on their side Sunday morning in a statement of an operation 'Historic', result of cooperation "Spouse of information" with the United States. Turkey also claimed to have been in 'Coordination' with Washington before the operation.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH), US commandos were helicoptered and disembarked at night in the Idlib region, where there were "Groups close to IS". The OSDH reported helicopter fire after midnight and said the attack killed at least nine people, including two women and one child, but was unable to say whether the IS leader was in that area.

A resident of Baricha village, where a house and a car were targeted for fire, went to the affected area early Sunday morning. "There is a collapsed house, tents and a damaged civilian car with two dead inside", he told Agence France-Presse (AFP). On the outskirts of the village, an AFP correspondent was able to see the carcass of a charred minibus hit by shelling. "The operation lasted at least until 3:30 in the morning"another resident said.

Last appearance in April

This development comes at a time of intense military activity in northern Syria, where Turkish forces launched a massive offensive against Kurdish forces in early October.

Read also Who benefits from the Turkish military operation in Syria?

For their part, the Damascus regime and its Russian ally accelerated the deployment of their troops to the Syrian-Turkish border, while the Americans announced the sending of military reinforcements to an oil zone further east.

The last appearance of Baghdadi dates back to a propaganda video of April 29, in which he promised that his organization "Avenge" the death of jihadists killed by IS, claiming that the fight against the West was "A long battle". More recently, on 16 September, he called in a 30-minute audio message to help jihadists in jails and their families living in IDP camps, including in Syria and Iraq.

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It was in Mosul, Iraq, that the IS leader made his only known public appearance, in July 2014, at the Al-Nouri mosque. In black turban and coat, with a grizzled beard, he had then called on all Muslims to give him allegiance to the head of the "Caliphate" self-proclaimed IS on the vast territories conquered in Iraq and neighboring Syria.


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