Members of the U.S. Army Delta Force team that raided ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s compound in northern Syria ended the mission with a bang – calling in an airstrike to destroy the terrorist leader’s home.
Soldiers from the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment – better known as Delta Force – reportedly called in the airstrike on Baghdadi’s compound in an effort to prevent his home from becoming a shrine to ISIS fighters and other Islamic extremists, according to Business Insider.
Aerial footage posted by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty appears to show the rubble of Baghdadi’s compound, located in the village of Barisha, which is in the northern Syrian province of Idlib.
In further footage obtained by Voice of America News, the destruction of the compound can be seen close up, while bystanders gathered around the rubble taking pictures and assessing the site.
The Delta Forces team reportedly snuck up on Baghdadi’s Syrian compound by flying low over 70 miles from a U.S. airfield in Erbil, Iraq.
During the attack, supporting Apache helicopter gunships and other U.S. aircraft provided aerial covering fire, which damaged the building even before Delta Force members landed and carried out their raid against Baghdadi.
Best image so far of compound where Al Baghdadi was killed. pic.twitter.com/WeC1RNNXYU
— Aldin 🇧🇦 (@aldin_ww) October 27, 2019
After landing, those members of Delta Force reportedly offered a chance for Baghdadi and the other inhabitants of the building to surrender. The terror group’s leader reportedly did not accept the offer to give himself up.
Faced with uncertainty about what resistance might wait barricaded beyond the doors of the compound, the Delta Force team instead blew up part of the compound’s wall, allowing the elite team to storm the building from another direction.
Baghdadi had attempted to escape the compound at some point before the Delta Force team and attack dogs they brought on the mission ultimately chased him into a dead-end tunnel where he became trapped.
“We tried to call him out and asked him to surrender himself. He refused,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said of another effort the Delta Forces team made to let Baghdadi surrender.
Having brought three of his young children with him, Baghdadi refused another option to surrender, having armed himself with a suicide bomb, which he instead detonated, killing himself and those children he had brought with him.
No members of the Delta Forces team or any other supporting U.S. forces were killed in the raid, though one U.S. dog was reportedly injured in the suicide bomb blast.
According to President Donald Trump’s recounting of the raid during a Sunday White House press conference, those members of Delta Force conducted DNA tests of Baghdadi’s remains and spent about two hours at the compound, collecting intelligence information. Trump said the special operations team was able to gather key information about the origins of the ISIS terror group as well as its future plans.
The demolition of the compound culminated the U.S. raid, denying one potential site of enshrinement to the infamous terror group leader. U.S. forces also reportedly disposed of Baghdadi’s remains through a burial at sea, further denying another chance for extremists to enshrine his gravesite.
U.S. officials reportedly disposed of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s body in a similar fashion, following the 2011 raid by SEAL Team 6, against bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan.