The covert operation started around 5 p.m. on Saturday evening as eight helicopters carrying teams of elite United States troops, including Delta Force operators, flew exactly one hour and ten minutes over "very, very unsafe territory" towards the compound, according to President Donald Trump on Sunday. The pullback also was viewed as an abandonment of the U.S.'s only ally in Syria, the Kurdish-led forces, who fought IS for years with the U.S-led coalition. Washington Post national security reporter Joby Warrick explains.
Survivors and families of the victims of the deadly 2015 extremist attacks around Paris say they are relieved at the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi but warn that the fight against extremism is not over.
The death of al-Baghdadi was a milestone in the fight against ISIS, which brutalized swaths of Syria and Iraq and sought to direct a global campaign from a self-declared "caliphate".
"There is no guarantee of success in an operation with this level of difficulty." he said. President Trump said eight helicopters flew slightly over an hour to reach the compound.
Al-Baghdadi's remains were taken to a secure facility to confirm his identity with forensic DNA testing, Milley said.
"They have been looking for him for a long time".
"There's the very bad possibility that it may end up having learned from its lessons and evolve into something much more effective than we saw under Baghdadi's leadership".
Breakfast Media's Andrew Feinberg accused Trump of wanting to recreate "a we got bin Laden' moment" and said Trump's announcement "should not be carried life, he's forfeited that privilege with all the lying".
Neither the dog's name nor its gender were made public, but Newsweek reporter James LaPorta, who initially broke the news of the raid that resulted in al-Baghdadi's death, reported the name Monday.
Video footage from the region showed United States military convoys re-entering Syria, days after Donald Trump had ordered them out in advance of a Turkish invasion.
"I've said for years that this organisation has become somewhat of a virtual caliphate; a franchise that other groups can buy into and basically sell around the world", he told Al Jazeera, describing ISIL as a "virtual community" that has been "leaderless". "He died like a dog, he died like a coward", the president said.
"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.
"We want to make sure that SDF does have access to those resources in order to guard the prisons, in order to arm their own troops in order to assist us with the defeat Isis mission", Esper said.
"It's not bad news", he said of the IS leader's slaying but added for ethical reasons his group would not express joy at any death.
USA forces stayed in the area for approximately two hours after the mission was done, where they took "highly sensitive material and information from the raid", Trump said.
He added that it was Iran's help that pushed Baghdadi out of Iraq and into Idlib in Syria and allowed him to be located.