The covert operation started around 5 p.m. on Saturday evening as eight helicopters carrying teams of elite USA troops, including Delta Force operators, flew exactly one hour and ten minutes over "very, very risky territory" towards the compound, according to President Donald Trump on Sunday.
Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi left behind a horrific trail of beheadings, mass executions, rapes, abductions and ethnic cleansing in his five years as the self-proclaimed "caliph" of Iraq and Syria.
President Donald Trump claimed that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was "whimpering and crying and screaming" right before his death, but Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Gen. Mark Milley doesn't know where Trump got those particular details.
"Sleeper cells will seek revenge for Baghdadi's death", Mazloum Abdi - the top commander of the Syrian Kurdish force that was the US-led coalition's main ally in the fight against IS - told AFP. Warrick is a national security reporter for the Washington Post and Pulitzer-prize winning author of Black Flags: The Rise Of ISIS. Military officials said that the operation had to be sped up as a result of the withdrawal.
Iraqi state television later broadcast night-time footage of an explosion and daytime images of a crater in the ground and what it said was the aftermath of the raid, including torn and blood-stained clothes.
Asked whether al-Baghdadi's body had been buried at sea, Milley would only say that the "disposal of his remains" is "complete and was handled appropriately", following additional DNA identification at a secure facility. He criticised European allies, calling them a "tremendous disappointment" for not doing more to take possession of IS prisoners.
Information Minister Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi, tweeted: "Not a big deal, You just killed your creature", accusing the United States, its longtime foe, of creating Islamic State. "We killed ISIS leader al-Baghdadi", Trump said in his address to the International Association of The Chiefs of Police Annual Conference.
The Sunday raid by USA commandos in northwestern Syria ended a yearslong manhunt for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the most wanted terrorist in the world. "I don't want to have people lost", he said. The Turkish military also tweeted that prior to the operation in Idlib, it exchanged "information" and co-ordinated with US military.
Syrian Kurdish forces spokesman Mustafa Bali said his fighters believe al-Muhajir was in Jarablus to facilitate al-Baghdadi's travel to the area, which is administered by Turkey-backed fighters.
The death of al-Baghdadi has highlighted the importance of having US troops in the region and in Syria specifically to defend against an ISIS resurgence after the president made a decision to pull about 1,000 USA forces from northeastern Syria following a Turkish incursion along the border.
Analysts said the list of potential successors appeared to be short, with Hisham al-Hashemi, an Iraqi expert on ISIL, noting that two potential candidates stand out: Abu Othman al-Tunsi and Abu Saleh al-Juzrawi, who is also known as Hajj Abdullah.
President Trump said the Isis leader was cornered into a tunnel. The breed is prized by the military for its intelligence and ability to be aggressive on command, said Ron Aiello, president of the United States War Dogs Association.
"One major player of the Islamic state group's actions has disappeared", he told AP, although he said that his group would not express joy at any death.
"He is expected to launch a series of retaliatory attacks for the killing of Baghdadi", said Abu Ragheef.