Washington releases images from al-Baghdadi operation

The US military has distributed the first footage of the attack in northern Syria that ended in the death of the leader of the Islamic State (IS) group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The grainy video revealed troops shooting at militants on the ground as they retreated towards the compound where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was hiding before they moved in on the ground.
Baghdadi fled into a tunnel and killed himself by detonating a suicide vest.
After the raid, the compound was destroyed with munitions.
The head of US Central Command, Gen Kenneth McKenzie, said the destroyed buildings were left looking like “a parking lot with large potholes”.
Gen McKenzie said two children had died with Baghdadi in the tunnel – not three as previously reported.

“He crawled into a hole with two small children and blew himself up while his people stayed on the ground. You can deduce what kind of person it is based on that activity,” he told a news conference at the Pentagon.

Gen McKenzie confirmed that the IS leader had been identified through his DNA – adding that samples had been on file since Baghdadi’s detention in an Iraqi prison in 2004.

He said Baghdadi’s remains were flown back to a staging base for identification and were then buried at sea within 24 hours of his death “in accordance with the laws of armed conflict”.

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