Pentagon Releases First Images Of Raid That Killed ISIS Leader

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Pentagon Releases First Images Of Raid That Killed ISIS Leader
​The Pentagon has released newly declassified images and video of the raid targeting ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
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The Pentagon has released newly declassified images and video of the raid targeting ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

In a press conference on Wednesday, the head of U.S. Central Command, Gen. Frank McKenzie, described the raid that eventually resulted in al-Baghdadi's death by suicide.

"The mission was a difficult complex and precise raid, that was executed with the highest level of professionalism and in the finest tradition of the U.S. military."

According to McKenzie, Turkey and Russia were contacted before the raid was underway, in order to prevent any "state actors" in Syria from interfering with the operation.

After finding al-Baghdadi at a compound in Syria, McKenzie said that the ISIS leader took two children "under 12" to a tunnel and detonated explosives, killing himself and the children. U.S. forces eventually found "substantial" documentation and electronics in the tunnel, that they intend to "exploit" and use to "help us as we go forward."

Despite al-Baghdadi's death by explosives, U.S. forces were able to use DNA evidence to identify his remains. 

"The defense intelligence agency conducted the analysis and compared DNA from the remains taken from the compound with an on-file sample taken when Baghdadi was at Camp Bucca prison in Iraq in 2004. The analysis showed a direct match between the samples and produced a level of certainty that remains belonged to Baghdadi of 1 and 104 septillion, which is certainly beyond a shadow of a doubt."

McKenzie also discussed the potential repercussions of the raid as well.

"ISIS is first and last an ideology, so we’re under no illusions that it's gonna go away because we killed Baghdadi. It will remain. … They will be dangerous. We suspect they will try some form of retribution attack."

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.