Published: Tue, October 29, 2019
Culture | By Margie Dunn

President Trump pays tribute to military dog wounded in Baghdadi raid

President Trump pays tribute to military dog wounded in Baghdadi raid

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security says it is operating at a " heightened state of vigilance" following the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi but there are no plans to issue an (National Terrorism Advisory System) alert unless "we develop specific or credible threat information" to share with the public.

According to Trump, the dog was injured when al-Baghdadi detonated a suicide vest, killing himself, three children and causing the dead-end tunnel they occupied to collapse. The officials also confirmed that videos and photos of the raid exist.

The death of al-Baghdadi is an important win for President Trump weeks after his sudden decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria sparked a wave of criticism, including from fellow Republicans, that the move would lead to a resurgence of ISIS.

In 2017, Philippine troops fought against hundreds of Islamic State-allied fighters who laid siege to Marawi City for five months, killing more than 1,200, including civilians, and leaving the municipality in ruins.

Mr Trump also praised Russian and Turkish officials on Sunday, while acknowledging that he had given them advance warning of a USA operation in the region - a move that did not go unnoticed by Democrats.

This isn't the first time American armed forces have relied on a dog for backup in operations targeting terrorists.

"[Al-Qaida leader Osama] bin Laden was replaced by his former number two, [Ayman] al-Zawahiri", he said, adding that the al-Qaida leader is still powerful.

For their part, the Kurd-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which had helped to oust IS from Syria, stressed that they had also helped to track down Baghdadi.

A big part of that complexity is the rejiggering of the battlefield since Trump earlier this month ordered a full USA troop withdrawal from positions along the Turkish border in northeastern Syria.

The group has lost many of its senior commanders in US-led airstrikes, including Fadhil Ahmad al-Hayali, described as the group's No. 2 who was killed in Iraq by an August 2015 USA airstrike, and Abu Ali al-Anbari, the extremist group's leading finance official, who was killed in 2016.

Iran, repeating a claim that the U.S. had created IS, downplayed the significance of the raid.

Esper emphasized that the objective of securing Syria's oil region is to deny income to the Islamic State.

"Turkey and our USA counterparts shared information, exchanged opinions before the operation to kill Daesh leader started".

Pelosi criticized Trump on Sunday of informing Moscow before Democrats, while Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he learned about the death of Baghdadi after seeing it on television. "You know before me they didn't care but now they said what about 100 per cent and we met some great generals", he said.

Milley also said service members obtained certain "material" during the raid, but said, "I don't want to say exactly what or how much".

Trump said a DNA field test had confirmed his identity, and he also thanked Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Russian Federation for their cooperation.

"Al-Baghdadi's death is a hard blow against Islamic State, but it is just a stage".

"The fight will continue with our partners in the worldwide coalition to ensure that the terror organisation is definitively defeated".

Defence Minister Florence Parly on Twitter: "Baghdadi: early retirement for a terrorist, but not for his organisation".

"I give the president credit for ordering the operation. My thoughts today are for all the victims of the madness of Bagdhadi and the criminals who have followed him".

But he added: "If this information is confirmed we can talk about a serious contribution by the president of the United States to the fight against worldwide terrorism".

Initial reports of the IS leader's death were greeted with a degree of skepticism as Baghdadi's demise had previously been erroneously reported several times.

Spokesman for Iran's Foreign Ministry Abbas Mousavi downplayed the significance of the USA operation that led to the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

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