WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Monday said he was considering releasing a part of the video footage of the US special operations raid in northwest Syria that resulted in the death of elusive Islamic State leader and world’s most wanted terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The ISIS chief blew up his suicide vest and died when he was chased inside a dead-end tunnel during a raid by the US Special Operations forces at his hideout on Saturday.
“We’re thinking about it. We may. The question was: Am I considering releasing video footage of the raid? And we may take certain parts of it and release it, yes,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
“We had a great weekend for our country. We captured a man that should’ve been caught a long time ago. Unfortunately, he wasn’t,” Trump said before leaving for Chicago.
“He’s done tremendous damage. But it was an amazing display of intelligence and military power and coordination, and getting along with people. Lots of great things happened. So that was a big, big day and a big weekend, and we’re very happy about it,” the US President said.
On Sunday, while announcing the raid and Baghdadi’s death at the White House, Trump said that watching a live feed from the scene of the operation was like watching “a movie.”
Trump announced the success of the raid, saying Baghdadi, who is said to be 48 years old, died “whimpering and crying and screaming”, and “like a dog and a coward”, adding that the ISIS leader and “the losers” under his command “were very frightened puppies”.
Baghdadi came to prominence in 2014, when he announced the creation of a “caliphate” in areas of Iraq and Syria. ISIS carried out a number of atrocities that resulted in thousands of deaths.
Despite being hunted by the world’s best intelligence agencies and US authorities offering a whopping USD 25 million reward for information leading to his capture, Baghdadi had proved to be incredibly elusive.
The killing of the ISIS leader – the top terrorist leader – comes as a major political victory for president Trump who is facing an impeachment proceeding against him by the opposition Democratic Party, which hold the majority in the House of Representatives.