ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Reportedly Dead After US Special Ops Raid

ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Reportedly Dead After US Special Ops RaidPA Images

The leader of the Islamic State militant network is said to be dead after being targeted by a US military raid in north-west Syria.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is believed to have detonated his own suicide vest during the raid which took place in his lair in the Idlib province of Syria.

According to reports in the MailOnline, officials are still waiting on confirmation the chief was killed in the explosion and US President Donald Trump is expected to make a ‘major statement’ at the White House later today (October 27).

Bakr al-Baghdadi has been at the top of the US and Europe’s most wanted list following his call to arms in 2014, which saw a move away from mass casualty attacks carried out by al-Qaeda, in favour of smaller, lone wolf acts of violence.

ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Reportedly Dead After US Special Ops RaidPA Images

He encouraged more smaller acts of violence as they would be harder for law enforcement to prepare for and prevent. The ISIS leader encouraged jihadists who would not travel to the caliphate to kill where they were using whatever weapon they had at their disposal, which has resulted in a number of devastating and deadly attacks in the UK and across Europe.

According to reports in CNN, his words inspired more than 140 terrorist attacks across 29 different countries other than Iraq and Syria, which caused the death of at least 2,043.

He has led ISIS for the last five years, presiding over its ascendancy and becoming known for a series of horrific beheadings and executions.

ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Reportedly Dead After US Special Ops RaidPA Images

Bakr al-Baghdadi has been far less visible in recent years, thanks to a £19.5 million ($25m) bounty on his head, meaning he’s only released sporadic audio recordings, including one last month in which he called on members of the extremist group to do all they could to free ISIS detainees and women held in jails and camps.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported an attack carried out by a squadron of eight helicopters accompanied by a warplane. They documented the death of nine people, adding the death toll is likely to rise given the number of people who are still severely wounded.

Trump is expected to make his statement in the White House Diplomatic Reception Room later today, where he used to make a number of major announcements.

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