Charles Ventura, USA TODAY Published 11 : 52 PM ET Oct. 26, 2019Updated 1: 07 am ET Oct. 27, 2019
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President Donald Trump is expected to deliver a “major statement” Sunday, the White House announced late Saturday.
White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said Trump will address the nation Sunday at 9 am ET from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. It wasn’t immediately clear what the president will discuss in his speech.
The scheduled announcement comes afterTrump teased his Twitter followersthat: “Something very big has just happened
Something very big has just happened!
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) (October) , 2019
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Citing a senior US defense official,CNN reportedthat the US military targeted Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a raid in northwest Syria on Saturday. Trump approved the mission nearly a week before it took place,Newsweek reported.
In April, the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, released a video purportedly showing Baghdadi for thefirst time in nearly five years. According to the Associated Press, he presided over the Islamic State’s ascendancy as it cultivated a reputation for beheadings and attracted hundreds of thousands of followers to a sprawling and self-styled caliphate in Iraq and Syria.
Baghdadi remained among the few ISIS commanders still at large despite multiple claims in recent years about his death and even as his so-called caliphate dramatically shrank, with many supporters who joined the cause either imprisoned or jailed.
Saturday’s strike came amid concerns that a recent American pullback from northeastern Syria could infuse new strength into the militant group, which had lost vast stretches of territory it had once controlled.
Contributing: Associated Press
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