BREAKING NEWS: Donald Trump says he is considering releasing footage of the raid which killed Baghdadi amid questions over his description of ISIS leader’s last minutes 

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Donald Trump said on Monday he may release the footage of the raid that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi amid questions about his description of it.

‘We’re thinking about it. We may. The question was, am I considering releasing video footage of the raid. And we may take certain parts of it and release it, yes,’ the president told reporters at Joint Base Andrews as he prepared to leave for Chicago, where he will address an annual police officers meeting and attend party fundraisers.

President Trump watched the special forces operation to kill Baghdadi via drone footage, instead of a body-worn camera, so did not see the moment the ISIS leader died, according to military and intelligence officials.

Trump announced the success of the raid in a press conference, saying that Baghdadi died ‘whimpering and crying and screaming’, and ‘like a dog and a coward’.

He described the video footage he watched as ‘something really amazing to see’ and that it was ‘as though you were watching a movie’. Helicopters carried US special forces to the compound of Baghdadi where he was hiding near Idlib in northwestern Syria.

Half way around the world, Trump watched the raid in real-time via a video link as troops blasted into the hideout and sent the most-wanted militant running the last steps of his life before detonating a suicide belt.

Surveillance footage on several video screens showing various angles of the overhead maneuvers were relayed via drone to multiple screens in the Situation Room at the White House.

However, military sources said the president would not have been able to see what was happening inside the compound or the moment Baghdadi fled to a dead-end tunnel with three of his children, according to the New York Times.

There was also no live audio of the daring raid, which was the culmination of years of intelligence-gathering and hastily put together once Washington got word that Baghdadi would be at a certain hideout near the village of Barisha.

In order to know this detail about Baghdadi’s final moments, Trump would have needed reports directly from the commandos who took part in the operation or received the information passed through the chain of command to the president, military sources claim.

US Special Operations forces have, in recent years, opted to move away from using helmet cams to relay real time footage because of the disorienting and sometimes violent nature of the images. There is also the fear that such footage encourages instant intervention from command centers, the New York Times reports.

At the Pentagon yesterday, military officials avoided describing Baghdadi whimpering or crying.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper, when asked about the president’s depiction on ABC’s This Week, did not repeat the ‘whimpering’ description.

‘I don’t have those details. The president probably had the opportunity to talk to the commanders on the ground,’ Esper said on Sunday.

The commandos were wearing body cameras, but these did not broadcast in real time due to the nature of the operation.

This footage can be downloaded and reviewed after the operation finished, according to Pentagon officials.

A Defense Department source told the New York Times it was possible Trump spoke to either the Delta Force operators involved in the raid or their superiors.

The operation came four days after Trump green lit the raid on Saturday, with the president cryptically tweeting, ‘Something very big has just happened!’.

Several other opportunities for the strike were aborted at the last minute with helicopters flying some 500 miles over ‘very very dangerous territory’.

National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs of Staff US Army General Mark Milley and Brig. General Marcus Evans, were also present as Trump watched the raid.

Baghdadi, the president confirmed Sunday, detonated his suicide vest, killing himself and three children, during an overnight targeted attack.

The president touted the operation and Baghdadi’s death as ‘bigger than bin Laden’.

Osama bin Laden, founder of Al-Qaeda and the terrorist leader behind the September 11 terrorist attacks, was killed in 2011 during a Navy SEALs operation during Barack Obama’s presidency.

Trump told a press conference, referencing Baghdadi’s creation of the so-called Islamic State in 2014: ‘This is the biggest there is.

‘This is the worst ever. Osama bin Laden was big, but Osama bin Laden became big with the World Trade Center. This is a man who built a whole, as he would like to call it, a country.’

The president also referred to Baghdadi and those who followed him as ‘losers’ and lauded that no U.S. personnel were lost during the raid, but did say that one ‘talented canine’ was injured.

Trump said on Sunday: ‘I got to watch much of it. No personnel were lost in the operation, while a large number of Baghdadi’s fighters and companions were killed with him.

‘He died after running into a dead-end tunnel, whimpering and crying and screaming all the way.’

Trump added that Baghdadi drugged three of his children with him: ‘They were led to certain death.’

He the added: ‘He reached the end of the tunnel as our dogs chased him down. He ignited his vest, killing himself and the three children.

His body was mutilated by the blast. the tunnel had caved in on it, in addition. But test results gave certain, immediate and totally positive identification.

It was him. The thug who tried so hard to intimidate others spent his last moments in utter fear, in total panic and dread, terrified of the American forces bearing down on him.’

The president then said, while claiming he’s been looking for Baghdadi ever since assuming office, that he’s the only one better at ‘using the internet’ than ISIS.

Dailymail

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