The US military operation that targeted ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi got underway on the ground in northwest Syria at 5:01 p.m. ET Saturday, according to a senior US defense official.
Baghdadi’s death was communicated by the special operations forces when they declared “jackpot” at 7:15 p.m. ET, the senior US defense official said. President Trump joined the national security team in the situation room as the operation got underway.
The official said six enemy fighters were killed in the raid and the 11 children, who were safely removed from the house, were turned over to a "responsible" party that had been identified.
The tunnel where the ISIS leader detonated his suicide vest partially collapsed and the forces on the ground had to recover the remains from the rubble while being cautious about any improvised explosive devices, the official said. It was only when the US forces were out of harms way did the President tweet good news was coming.