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‘Something very big has just happened!’ Trump posts cryptic tweet amid reports ISIS leader al-Baghdadi is killed in US raid

‘Something very big has just happened!’ Trump posts cryptic tweet amid reports ISIS leader al-Baghdadi is killed in US raid
US President Donald Trump triggered a wild guessing game after announcing on Twitter that “something very big” has happened, amid reports that the US military killed the Islamic State leader.

“Something very big has just happened!” Trump tweeted on Saturday evening. The six-word message, sent amid a slow news day in the US, has sparked an avalanche of speculation as to what the president was talking about, since he did not follow up his cryptic post with an explanation.

The White House did not seem to be in a hurry to clear things up, but it was later announced that Trump will give a statement at 1pm GMT. The exact reason for the rare Sunday address, however, was not disclosed.

Meanwhile, rumors have been swirling that the president is going to announce the killing of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) mastermind Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by the US military.

In a tweet that has been shared over 4,000 times before it was deleted, political activist Ryan Fournier, co-chairman of Students for Trump, wrote that US forces “captured” the warlord, celebrating it as a “huge defeat for ISIS.” In a follow-up tweet, Fournier clarified that the report remains unconfirmed and is based on sources.

Also on rt.com Islamic State leader al-Baghdadi detonated suicide vest during US raid in Syria – reports

Newsweek reported Saturday, citing Pentagon and US Army officials briefed on the matter, that the militant was killed in a special operations raid in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, greenlighted by Trump about a week ago. The Pentagon source told the publication that the operation concluded Saturday and that al-Baghdadi is “dead pending verification.”

More reports confirming that Washington indeed took down al-Baghdadi kept pouring in. Iraqi state TV promised to air footage purporting to show the US raid. Reuters cited sources as saying that Baghdad contributed to the intelligence gathering and was informed from Syrian sources that the ISIS leader was killed. His bodyguard also apparently perished in the special op. An Iraqi intelligence member claimed they received information on al-Baghdadi’s whereabouts after arresting a man and a woman from his inner circle.

Meanwhile, a senior Turkish official, cited by Reuters, said that Al-Baghdadi arrived at the location of the American operation about 48 hours beforehand and that Ankara was also aware of the planned mission. 

Anadolu news agency reported that at least seven bodies were discovered at the site of the raid. The operation involved helicopters and drones and lasted for about four hours, the outlet cited ts own correspondent. The first phase was an air attack, while the second included an air assault and the deployment of American special operations forces.

Also on rt.com ISIS leader Baghdadi surfaces in video for first time since 2014

Shortly after reports of al-Baghdadi’s supposed demise started coming in, footage began circulating online, purportedly showing the final moments of the US operation targeting the ISIS hideout.

According to unconfirmed reports on social media, the video allegedly shows a US airstrike on the village of Barsa in Idlib province, conducted on Saturday night. A series of powerful explosions can be seen lighting up the night sky before the video goes dark, and several voices can then be heard saying ‘Allahu Akbar’ (‘God is great’ in Arabic) in the background.

RT cannot independently verify the authenticity of the video.

There have been long-running rumors that al-Baghdadi has died. His last video appearance is dated April of this year. The video carried by the terrorist group’s mouthpiece shows him seated next to a rifle and discussing jihad with his henchmen.

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