The Pentagon will publish in a few days videos and photos of the operation against the leader of the Islamic State.
The chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the United States, General Mike Milley, has reported Monday that they have disposed of the mortal remains of the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bark al Baghdadi, “in an appropriate manner”, but he He refused to confirm whether he was thrown into the sea, as was done with the late head of Al Qaeda, Usama bin Laden.
“We have disposed of the mortal remains of Al Baghdadi,” General Milley said at a press conference from the Pentagon to questions from journalists. “They have been disposed of properly so that you can rest in peace and in accordance with the rules of war,” he said at the insistence of the informants.
Milley has stressed that they disposed of the mortal remains of Al Baghdadi once their identity was confirmed by DNA tests in a “security facility” in the region whose location he did not want to specify.
Bin Laden, who was killed by US forces in an operation carried out in 2011 in Abbottabad (Pakistan), was thrown into the Arabian Sea wrapped in a white sheet according to the Islamic ritual. Questioned about his proceeding in the same way, Milley has refused to give details.
Two Pentagon sources consulted by CNN have assured that Al Baghdadi has been launched into the sea as Bin Laden. National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien already said on NBC on Sunday that it was expected that the same protocol would be followed as with the leader of Al Qaeda.
THE IMAGES OF THE MOMENT
On the other hand, Milley has advanced that in the “few days” the Government will spread some videos and photographs of the operation carried out last Saturday in Idlib (Syria) to “capture or kill”, as explained in the same press conference Defense Secretary Mark Esper to Al Baghdadi.
“I think you can see them in a few days,” he has advanced. However, the Chief of Staff has clarified that only material that has passed the Pentagon’s safety filter will be disseminated. “They are going through a declassification process,” he said.
On the content of these images, journalists have wanted to know if, as US President Donald Trump said on Sunday announcing the death of Al Baghdadi, the jihadist spent his last moments “crying” and “whining.” “I don’t know what your source is,” he has simply answered.
Milley hastened to add that Trump had planned to meet with members of the unit that carried out the ‘Operation Kayla Mueller’. “I guess he talked directly to them,” he said.
For his part, the Secretary of Defense has taken advantage of the press conference to underline that the death of Al Baghdadi should serve as a warning to other terrorists that the United States will not hesitate to act when necessary.
“The United States, more than any other country in the world, has the power and determination to persecute those who intend to harm the American people to the ends of the Earth … We can attack anyone at any time and terrorists must be aware of it, “he said.
At the same time, Esper has been aware that Al Baghdadi’s death does not resolve the “complex situation” in Syria. Therefore, it has confirmed that the United States will maintain its military presence with the specific objective of preventing oil fields in the north of the country from falling into the hands of the Islamic State.
Despite this, he wanted to clarify that in no case more US troops will be deployed in Syria: “No, no and no. At the end of the day, I hope they are less than we had. At the end of the day, they will return home.”
Esper has also taken the opportunity to highlight Trump’s “brave decision” to order the operation against Al Baghdadi, once intelligence sources had already identified the target.
“There are no guarantees of success in an operation with this level of difficulty. The president knew it when he made the brave decision to order the operation relying on the experience of our forces,” he said. Thanks to this, the Islamic State has received a “devastating blow,” he stressed.