Al-Baghdadi’s death comes just days after the U.S. announced it would be sending additional troops into Syria to protect oil fields from ISIS.
Thursday’s announcement was a reversal of Mr. Trump’s earlier decision to pull U.S. forces from the area, which sparked a Turkish cross-border offensive earlier this month, and raised concerns that ISIS could regain strength.
Kurdish forces in northern Syria had been the main U.S. allies in the fight against ISIS.
Mr. Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria was criticized by Republican and Democratic leaders.
Mr. Trump tweeted earlier Saturday night “something very big has just happened!”
Al-Baghdadi was born in 1971 and claimed to have been descended from the Prophet Muhammad, reports CBS News’ Holly Williams.
After the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2004, al-Baghdadi was detained in a prison camp that became an incubator for jihadis.
Released a year later, he joined al Qaeda’s offshoot in Iraq, rising to become its leader, before moving into the chaos of Syria’s civil war, and renaming his group ISIS.
At its peak, ISIS ruled over an estimated 10 million people in Iraq and Syria, enslaving women, performing public executions, and expanding its reign of terror to Europe and the US.