October 27, 2019

THANKS, DONALD:

Baghdadi assassination succeeded despite Trump, not thanks to him - US officials (Times of Israel, 10/27/10)

According to The New York Times, however, the raid had been planned for months, but Trump's recent decision to pull US troops from northern Syria "disrupted the meticulous planning and forced Pentagon officials to press ahead with a risky, night raid before their ability to control troops and spies and reconnaissance aircraft disappeared."

Baghdadi's death "occurred largely in spite of Mr. Trump's actions," the report said, citing military, intelligence and counterterrorism officials.
It also said the information about Baghdadi's general location had been provided by one of his wives, who was arrested and interrogated during the summer, as well as a courier who was similarly questioned.

This image made from video posted on a militant website on April 29, 2019, purports to show the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, being interviewed by his group's Al-Furqan media outlet. (Al-Furqan media via AP)
The information about the terror leader's more specific whereabouts, the officials cited in the report said, came mostly from Syrian and Iraqi Kurds who continued to pass on the intelligence to the CIA, even after Trump announced the pullout -- a move widely perceived to have been an abandonment of the US's Kurdish allies.

If it happens on your watch you get credit.



MORE:
Trump Almost Ruined the Operation Against Al-Baghdadi (David Atkins, October 27, 2019, washington Monthly)

 Per the New York Times:

Armed with that initial tip, the C.I.A. worked closely with Iraqi and Kurdish intelligence officials in Iraq and Syria to identify Mr. al-Baghdadi's more precise whereabouts and to put spies in place to monitor his periodic movements, allowing American commandos to stage an assault Saturday in which President Trump said Mr. al-Baghdadi died.

But Mr. Trump's abrupt decision to withdraw American forces from northern Syria disrupted the meticulous planning and forced Pentagon officials to press ahead with a risky, night raid before their ability to control troops and spies and reconnaissance aircraft disappeared, according to military, intelligence and counterterroism officials. Mr. al-Baghdadi's death, they said, occurred largely in spite of Mr. Trump's actions.

The officials praised the Kurds, who continued to provide information to the C.I.A. on Mr. al-Baghdadi even after Mr. Trump's decision to withdraw the American troops left the Syrian Kurds to confront a Turkish offensive alone. The Syrian and Iraqi Kurds, one official said, provided more intelligence for the raid than any single country.

What this means is that Trump would have been briefed on the ongoing intelligence and the preparations for the raid. He would have known the importance of Kurdish assistance in bringing Al-Baghdadi to justice. He would have known that the operation was nearing the point where it could be safely and effectively carried out. And he chose to blindside both the U.S. military and the Kurds with a sudden withdrawal announcement anyway. As it turns out, the professionalism of the special forces and our Kurdish allies on the ground apparently led to a successful result-but it was no thanks to the president.

Posted by at October 27, 2019 4:55 PM

  

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