The United States has buried Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi at sea – as it emerged a DNA test of his underwear led forces to his lair.
Polat Can, a senior adviser for the Syrian Defense Force (SDF), said one of its “sources” stole his underpants from his compound in order to prove his identity.
He said the SDF had been working with the CIA since 15 May to track al Baghdadi down, beforeelite US special forces chased him into a dead-end tunnelon Saturday.
The Islamic State leader detonated a suicide vest, killing himself and three of his children.
General Mazloum Abdi, also of the SDF, said the source was a security adviser to al Baghdadi and described a room-by-room layout, including the number of guards, floor plan and tunnels.
He told NBC News the information helped plan the raid and the source was on location when the mission took place – and left with US forces.
The general said the underpants were stolen about three months ago and a blood sample was taken roughly a month ago
US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, have also told Reuters news agency that al Baghdadi’s remains were buried at sea and he was afforded religious rites – but did not disclose where or how long the burial lasted. )
General Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Pentagon news briefing the US military disposed of al Baghdadi’s remains “appropriately in accordance with our (standard operating procedures) and in accordance with the law of armed conflict. “
He said before al Baghdadi’s burial, his remains were taken to a secure facility to again confirm his identity with forensic DNA testing.
“It’s been done and is complete,” he added.
Due to the IS leader blowing himself up, it is unlikely the US military followed the same process as it did after Navy SEALs shot al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in the head in Pakistan in
Bin Laden’s body was transported to aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and then washed before being covered in a white sheet.
Religious remarks translated into Arabic were read over his corpse before he was buried at sea.
His burial triggered mixed reactions, with a prominent imam saying the US violated Islamic custom by not burying bin Laden on land.
In the US, some questioned why the man responsible for the September 11 attacks that killed nearly 3, 000 people in 2001 was buried with such respect.
US President Donald Trump said he may declassify and release part of the video taken on Saturday of the raid in which he described al Baghdadi “whimpering and crying” before he took his own life.
(It is believed to include aerial video and bodycam footage from soldiers who stormed al Baghdadi’s compound.
General Milley however declined to comment on the release of any footage.
He confirmed the US military had taken two adult male IS suspects into custody during the raid, but declined to talk about intelligence collected from the site.
TheUS military dog that was slightly injured in the raidto hunt down al Baghdadi has recovered and is back at work, General Milley added.
In a separate operation, the US confirmed on Monday it had killed Abul Hassan al Muhajir, an IS spokesman and potential future leader, who was on his way to transfer al Baghdadi to a new hiding place.
He was targeted in a village called Ein al Baat, near the city of Jaraboul in northern Syria, the commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, General Mazloum Abdi, said in a tweet.
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