The world’s most wanted terrorist, Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was the target of a deadly U.S.-led raid in northwestern Syria, sources told CNN early Sunday.
Forensic testing is underway, but officials believe al-Baghdadi is among the dead, the sources said.
A U.S. Special Ops mission targeted the ISIS leader near Barisha, Syria, overnight. The mission included helicopters, jets and U.S. drones, the sources said.
The U.S. fired from the air and then landed and gathered intelligence, the sources said. Several others were also killed in a convoy. There were no reports of U.S. casualties.
Newsweek was the first to report the raid.
President Donald Trump personally approved the operation, according to two people familiar with the matter.
US President Donald Trump plans to make a “major statement” at the White House at 9 am EST (1300 GMT) on Sunday, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said on Saturday.
Trump appeared to foreshadow the news late Saturday. “Something very big has just happened!” he said on Twitter.
The news comes amid growing concerns around ISIS’ potential resurgence and following the president’s decision to pull troops from Syria’s border in advance of a Turkish invasion.