Washington: US defense officials on Sunday said that final confirmation regarding the death of Islamic State chief, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, will come only after the DNA and biometric tests are conducted.
Baghdadi, the most notorious IS leader, has been in hiding for the last five years.
On Saturday, US Special Operation Commandos carried out a risky raid in northwestern Syria against Baghdadi’s hideouts in the Idlib province.
Though the Trump administration is yet to announce the death of Baghdadi, media has reported that he was killed in the operation conducted by US Army’s elite Delta Force.
According to The New York Times, Baghdadi is believed to have detonated a suicide vest during the raid conducted by the US military.
Following the media report, Trump without divulging details tweeted that “Something very big has just happened!”.
Following the tweet, the White House has announced that Trump is scheduled to make a major announcement on Sunday at 9:00 am (local time).
Trump administration has not revealed whether the matter is related to foreign or domestic policy.
In April, Bagdadi appeared in a propaganda video a week after a series of bombings rattled Sri Lanka in which more than 250 people were killed. He last appeared in 2014 during a sermon at the Great Mosque in Mosul. The speech marked the rise of the self-declared “Caliphate” of IS in Iraq and Syria. However, Baghdadi has periodically issued audio statements, with the last being in August 2018.
The United States had earlier announced a reward of USD 25 million for information leading to Baghdadi’s death or arrest.