Islamic State (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been was killed in a raid by the US military, according to several reports. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was last seen alive in a video in April. According to the reports, US officials are awaiting final confirmation of his death through fingerprinting or other biometric methods. There had been a USD 25 million bounty on the head of al-Baghdadi, who called himself "Caliph," or leader of all Muslims.
According to the Newsweek magazine, the ISIS leader was killed in a top-secret operation. The report quoting a senior person in the Pentagon said, "US Department of Defense has informed the White House that they have “high confidence” that the high-value target killed was the ISIS leader, pending further verification."
ABC News, quoting an official, reported that al-Baghdadi was believed to have detonated a suicide vest he was wearing as a US special mission unit carried out a ground raid in Idlib. The building containing al-Baghdadi was leveled by US operators, it quoted the official as saying.
Meanwhile Donald Trump sent out a cryptic tweet saying "Something very big has just happened!"
Something very big has just happened!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 27, 2019
The White House later announced that President Donald Trump will make a "major statement" Sunday morning, amid unconfirmed media reports of a military operation against the ISIS in Syria.
"The President of the United States will be making a major statement tomorrow morning at 9 o'clock (1300 GMT)," said White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley on Saturday, without giving further details.
According to Newsweek, the mission was approved by President Donald Trump almost a week before it took place.
There have been reports of al-Baghdadi being wounded, or possibly even killed, but he had often quashed such claims by releasing audio recordings.
He was nearly killed in August 2017, when US forces destroyed a compound south of Ragga in which he was believed to have been during a massive bombardment. However, he released an audio recording next month to prove he'd survived.