Kurdish commander reveals 5 month intelligence op led to ISIS leader Baghdadi’s ’killing’

Kurdish commander reveals 5 month intelligence op led to ISIS leader Baghdadi’s ’killing’ With Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi reportedly killed in a US operation in Syria, a commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has claimed that a joint US/SDF intelligence campaign led to his demise.

“Five months ago, there was intelligence work on the ground and a thorough prosecution until a joint operation eliminated terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” General Commander Mazloum Abdi tweeted on Sunday. 

“We thank everyone who contributed to this great work.”

The notorious Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) caliph was reportedly killed on Saturday in northwest Syria, in a US military operation involving American special forces, helicopters and drones. US President Donald Trump let fly a cryptic tweet announcing “something very big has just happened!” while multiple sources confirmed to Reuters and other news outlets that the terrorist was indeed taken down.

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Abdi’s Kurdish fighters had long been US allies in the fight against Islamic State. However, Trump took heavy criticism for pulling US troops out of Kurdish-held territory earlier this month. With the US president accused of “abandoning” his allies, Turkish forces moved in to take this territory, until a ceasefire was called last week.

Baghdadi’s forces embarked on a blitzkrieg campaign of jihad across the Middle East in 2014, seizing vast swathes of Syria and Iraq, after the militant leader declared himself Caliph of the Islamic State that summer. However, hunted by Syria, the US, Russia, Iran, and the SDF, Baghdadi laid low as his territorial gains were rolled back in recent years, surfacing only once in a released by the jihadis this April.

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