Report: Kurdish Informant Provided Intelligence That Led To ISIS Leader’s Raid
A member of the American-allied Kurdish forces in Syria provided key assistance leading up to the U.S. Special Forces takedown of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, according to NBC News.
Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) General Mazloum Abdi told the news outlet in an interview that “his intelligence service had a source deep in al-Baghdadi's inner circle who described a room-by-room layout of the terror leader's compound on the Turkish border, including the number of guards, floor plan and tunnels.”
The source was embedded as one of al-Baghdadi's security advisers, Abdi said, and proved his position of direct access to the leader by giving U.S. intelligence officials a used pair of al-Baghdadi’s underwear, as well as a blood sample.
Both samples allowed U.S. officials to make a positive identification by way of DNA tests.
During his Sunday address on the matter, President Donald Trump said the Kurdish forces played no military role in the "dangerous and daring" raid, but provided "some information that turned out to be helpful."
NBC reported that many Kurds were not pleased with Trump’s characterization of their role in the operation, noting that the perceived slight only added to negative feelings toward the U.S. president.
Kurds in northern Syria were angry, with some saying they felt betrayed, when Trump pulled U.S. troops out of the region earlier this month, making way for a Turkish assault on the American allies.
Still, Abdi praised the successful mission over the weekend, which he said was the end result of "joint intel cooperation on the ground and accurate monitoring" for five months.
Al-Baghdadi reportedly killed himself by detonating an explosive vest, killing three children.