Amid reports of killing of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, US President Donald Trump on Saturday said that "something very big" has happened on the microblogging site. This statement comes after the international media reported that the US military has killed Baghdadi. Meanwhile, the White House has announced that Trump is scheduled to make a major announcement on Sunday at 9:00 am (local time).
Something very big has just happened!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 27, 2019
According to reports, the United States military has conducted a special operations raid targeting one of its most high-value targets, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State militant group (ISIS). The US Defence official said that the CIA assisted in locating the ISIS leader who has been hiding for the last five years, as per international media.
Meanwhile, Fox News has also quoted military sources saying that a "high-value ISIS target" believed to be the Islamic State leader has been killed by U.S.-led forces in Idlib, Syria. Trump administration has not revealed whether the matter is related to foreign or domestic policy.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, an Iraqi national, is an ultraconservative cleric who became active in the Islamist insurgency against U.S. forces following the 2003 invasion that toppled Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. He went on to join Al-Qaeda in Iraq, rising up the ranks of the violent group as it merged with others to form the Islamic State of Iraq and eventually inherited its leadership in 2010 when his predecessor was killed in a joint U.S.-Iraqi operation. As the group took advantage of a U.S. military exit to further expand, he renamed the group to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham—or the Levant—better known as ISIS, in 2013, seeking to expand to neighbouring Syria, where a civil war was raging.
Baghdadi has been in hiding for the last five years. In April, a video was published by the ISIS media wing al-Furqan that showed a man purporting to be Baghdadi. It was the first time Baghdadi has been seen since July 2014, when he spoke at the Great Mosque in Mosul.
At the height of its power, Islamic State ruled over millions of people in territory running from northern Syria through towns and villages along the Tigris and Euphrates valleys to the outskirts of the Iraqi capital Baghdad. But the fall in 2017 of Mosul and Raqqa, its strongholds in Iraq and Syria respectively, stripped Baghdadi, an Iraqi, of the trappings of a caliph and turned him into a fugitive thought to be moving along the desert border between Iraq and Syria.
In February 2018, several US officials said Baghdadi had been wounded in an airstrike in May 2017 and had to relinquish control of the terror group for up to five months because of his injuries. According to reports, on September 16, Islamic State’s media network issued a 30-minute audio message purporting to come from Baghdadi, in which he said operations were taking place daily and called on supporters to free women jailed in camps in Iraq and Syria over their alleged links to his group. In the audio message, Baghdadi also said the United States and its proxies had been defeated in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that the United States had been dragged into Mali and Niger.
(with ANI inputs)