Department of Defense officials have released footage of the raid which led to the death of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi in Idlib, Syria. They also discussed further details of the raid in a Wednesday press conference.
According to Commander General Kenneth McKenzie, Jr. of U.S. Central Command, a group of individuals vacated the Al-Baghdadi compound as U.S. forces approached. The group consisted of 11 children and numerous adults. The group was treated humanely and all efforts were made to avoid civilian casualties. U.S. officials knew that there would be a number of innocent children at the compound.
“Five ISIS members inside the compound presented a threat to the force. They did not respond to commands in Arabic to surrender and they continued to threaten the force,”
“They were then engaged by the raid force and killed. There were four women and one man. After this engagement, and once established inside the compound, U.S. Forces discovered Baghdadi hiding in a tunnel. When captured at the hands of U.S. Forces was imminent, Baghdadi detonated a bomb he wore killing himself and two young children that were with him.”
The service canine that helped to corner Al-Baghdadi was injured by electrical while that became exposed after the detonation occurred in the tunnel. The dog, named Conan, will be returning to the U.S. after being attended to for her injuries.