2019-10-28 08:00:43

Shafaq News/ U.S. Defense Secretary ,Mark Esper said that the raid by U.S. special forces in northwestern Syria was aimed at arresting Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State's leader, if possible and killing him if necessary.

“We tried to communicate with him and demanded him to surrender,” Esper told CNN. He refused and fled to an underground place and as we tried to get him out he detonated an explosive vest. ”

Esper said that two U.S. soldiers were slightly injured during the operation but were already back in service.

He said that Trump authorized the operation late last week.

"The president studied options earlier this week ... and decided which option we believe gave us the greatest likelihood of success," he added.

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