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AMERICA’S top military officer has admitted he can’t confirm how Donald Trump was able to say Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was “whimpering” when he died.
Announcing the successful mission that led to the terror chief blowing himself up in a tunnel, the President said al-Baghdadi died “like a dog and a coward” while “crying and screaming”.
Trump watched video of Saturday’s operation from the White House with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley and others, though it's emerged there was no audio with it.
General Milley was asked how elaborate on how the President was able to describe al-Baghdadi’s final moments and also to confirm the details.
“I know the president had planned to talk down to unit and unit members, but I don't know what the source of that was but I assume it was talking directly to unit and unit members,” he replied.
US special forces swooped on al-Baghdadi’s hideout in Idlib on Saturday night and he blew himself up, along with three of his children, when cornered by a military dog as he tried to flee through a tunnel.
The President said watching footage being streamed from Syria of the raid was “as though you were watching a movie”.
He has now said he may declassify and release part of the video taken during Saturday’s raid.
"Were thinking about it. We may. We may take certain parts of it and release it,” he said.
But there was no audio with the footage and the cameras wouldn’t be able to see into the tunnel.
The US Department of Defense has said that it was possible for Trump to have spoken directly with the special forces troops after the raid or with their commanders.
Meanwhile, five senior administration officials told the Daily Beast they also have no idea where the President got the detail about Baghdadi’s death.
Two senior Pentagon officials told the site it's not often been the case in past operations that the President will speak directly to those who took part.
Al-Baghdadi was tracked to his lair after one of his security staff, who was also working for Kurdish intelligence, stole a pair of his underpants for a DNA sample to be taken.
He was tracked down just hours before he was about to disappear again and move to yet another secret location in northern Syria.
The ISIS chief has been buried at sea and was afforded Islamic burial rites, just as Osama bin Laden was after he was killed by US Navy SEALS in Pakistan in 2011.
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