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ISIS leader Baghdadi buried at sea by US military

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Islamic State group chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, seen here in an image grab taken from an April 2019 propaganda video, was killed in a raid by US special forces on a house in northwestern Syria

US officials said Monday that the body of Islamic State group chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was buried at sea as fresh details surfaced about the US special forces operation that led to his death over the weekend.

Syrian Kurds claimed to be a key source of the intelligence that led Americans to Baghdadi after years of tracking the brutal jihadist leader behind a five-year reign of terror across much of Iraq and Syria.

And an unnamed US military dog became a unlikely hero of the raid, incurring injuries as it chased Baghdadi down a dead-end tunnel underneath his northwestern Syria hideout before he blew himself and three children up with a suicide vest.

The US military basked in success Monday after the eliminating the founder and spiritual guide of the Islamic State (IS) group, capping a years-long campaign to crush the Sunni Muslim extremist organization that had at one point created a “caliphate” straddling the Euphrates River that rivaled the size of England.

“His death marks a devastating blow to the remnants of (IS),” said Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

President Donald Trump said this picture of the military dog that helped capture jihadist leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been "declassified"
President Donald Trump said this picture of the military dog that helped capture jihadist leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been “declassified”

Attention focused as well on the unnamed dog — likely a Belgian Malinois, a breed favored by the military, which chased Baghdadi into a tunnel under the complex and cornered him before he detonated his suicide vest.

President Donald Trump praised the dog on Sunday as “beautiful,” but military officials said any information about it, including its name, was secret.

“It’s classified, we’re protecting the dog’s identity,” said Milley.

The dog had been “slightly wounded and is fully recovering,” he said.

“The dog is still in theater, returned to duty, with its handler.”

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