first published on October 31, 2019 by Will
The Pentagon has released video footage of the Oct. 26, 2019 Delta Force raid that resulted in the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The video footage shows short segments of the operation. According to reports, armed gunmen began shooting at the infiltration team’s aircraft. The militants can be seen grouping up near a barrier when they are engaged and destroyed by attack helicopters.
The released footage also shows what appears to be an eight-man “Delta Force” Combat Applications Group (CAG) assault team approaching the target compound. For obvious operational security reasons, CENTCOM cannot release any footage of the actions taken on the objective, which would give away their tactics and procedures.
Baghdadi blew himself and three of his children up with a suicide vest, at which point the special operators conducted a sensitive site exploitation of the compound, capturing valuable, top-level intelligence on the Islamic State.
After the special operations troops exfiltrated from the objective, multiple precision munitions were used to completely erase the compound from the landscape. Marine Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., the commander of U.S. Central Command, told reporters that the compound “looks pretty much like a parking lot with large potholes.”
Reporters asked if the date chosen for the raid had anything to do with the withdrawal of US troops in the region elevating the risk of losing tabs on the terror leader.
McKenzie responded by saying, “We chose the time based on a variety of factors, weather, certainty, lunar data, a variety of things … And while (it) might have been convenient to use bases there, the United States military has the capability to go almost anywhere and support ourselves, even at great distances, so that was not a limiting factor. We struck because the time was about right to do it then, given the totality of the intelligence, and the other factors that would affect the raid force going in and coming out.”