General Kenneth McKenzie says Isis will remain a threat as he shows footage of raid on leader’s Syria hideout
Julian Borger in Washington
Wed 30 Oct 2019
The US military has said it expects a retribution attack in the wake of the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as it released the first footage of the raid by commandos on the Isis leader’s hideout.
The Pentagon showed brief black-and-white aerial footage on Wednesday night of the raid and the subsequent bombing of Baghdadi’s compound in northern Syria.
One video showed small black silhouettes of US soldiers approaching the walls of the compound. In another bombs could be seen falling on the site followed by a flash and the screen turning grey.
The head of US Central Command, General Kenneth McKenzie, said the bombing took place after all the attackers and survivors had been evacuated, and was carried out so that the compound near the Turkish border did not become a shrine.
McKenzie was unable to confirm Trump’s claim that the Isis leader was “crying, whimpering” in the moments before his death.
He said Baghdadi’s remains – collected after he blew himself up in a tunnel, killing two children he had taken with him – had been buried at sea. McKenzie said initial reports said three children, but later analysis showed two. Both were under 12 years old, he said.
McKenzie said the US was under no illusions it had destroyed Isis, and warned the group would try to take revenge.
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