Oct 27, 2019

Baghdadi operation named after captured humanitarian worker Kayla Mueller

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Report: ISIS leader Baghdadi believed killed in U.S.-led Syria raid

An image grab taken from a video released in July 2014 of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi preaching at a mosque in Mosul. Photo: Al-Furqan Media/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State, or ISIS, was targeted in a raid led by U.S. military special operations and is believed to have been killed in the attack in northwest Syria, Newsweek first reported Saturday night.

Details: A military source told Fox News that a "high value ISIS target" believed to be Baghdadi was "killed by U.S.-led forces in Idlib, Syria." A U.S. official told AP the terrorist group leader was "killed in an explosion" in the province. American military sources told news outlets including CNN, ABC News, Defense One and Al Jazeera that a person believed to be Baghdadi detonated a suicide vest.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Oct 27, 2019

ISIS confirms death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and announces new leader

An image-grab taken from an ISIS propaganda video of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

ISIS confirmed the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Thursday, naming his successor Abu Ibrahim Hashimi al-Quraishi in a message posted by the Islamic State's propaganda arm, NBC News reports.

The big picture: The group also acknowledged that its former spokesman, Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir, was killed in a separate strike, per the New York Times. This is the first time ISIS has recognized al-Baghdadi's death following the American-led raid into northern Syria last weekend. NBC reported Thursday that al-Baghdidi had been betrayed by a member of his inner circle who guided U.S. troops to his compound. U.S. officials warned they expect extremist groups to try and retaliate.

Go deeper: Baghdadi raid depended on international ties Trump has spurned

Keep ReadingArrowOct 31, 2019

Iraqi president: It's reckless to think defeat of ISIS is complete

In an interview with Jonathan Swan for "Axios on HBO," Iraqi President Barham Salih said that while the military defeat of ISIS is an important moment, it is still incomplete and could "easily unravel."

  • The interview was prior to news of the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Experts remain concerned about an ISIS resurgence even without the group’s leader.
Go deeperArrowOct 27, 2019